Look Around: Christ Desert Park in Yucca Valley

Welcome to Look Around, a new section of Mari Go Round that lets photography drive the narrative. Tune in every week as I visually take you along with me to cool, far-flung attractions, events and happenings in Southern California and beyond. 

Enjoy exploring with me? Follow me @marimakatsaria for even more photos, videos and travel tips!

The desert holds so many odd and curious stories. One such story is that of late Reverend Eddie Garver. Garver, also known as The Desert Parson, had a vision. He wanted to dream up a Christian Theme Park, a place for reflection, peace and refuge. The U.S. government gave the project a thumbs up, even offering Garver five acres of land in the desert to play with. In 1951, the first statue — a giant Jesus, made by sculptor and poet Frank Antone Martin and hauled from Los Angeles on the back of a truck — appeared on the hillside. 

Now, there are about 40 of these stark-white sculptures, all scattered around the Christ Desert Park in Yucca Valley, one of the many desert communities that make Joshua Tree such a special place. If you’re in the area, this place is worth a stop. It feels so strange, inspiring and unexpected, because it’s something no one expects to see in the middle of the desert. The three-story, 125-ton bas-relief of The Last Supper is a must-see, and the little vignettes and biblical scenes will keep your interest piqued. 

LA-based journalist and blogger sharing her deep-seated, honest love for fashion and travel. Check in every week for new stories of exploration and roundups!

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