If you live in the south west part of the United States, fall and winter are the best times to get out and explore. Most of the area is dry and dessert, and the weather has cooled down enough to not get bakeded. And so off we go, to a strange destination; The Salton Sea, California’s largest lake.
With 340-ish square miles of salty uninhabitable water and over 50 miles of shoreline, it makes for a unique adventure. A lot of the towns surrounding the sea have been abandoned for decades and looks like the aftermath of catastrophic natural disaster. Some towns look like kindergarden art projects. And some are just plain beautiful. Here is our account of the trip.
Day 1: Glamis Sand Dunes
We camped out here in the outside of a town called Glamis we decided to just stop and sleep where we were because with 118,000 acres of nothing and sand, we figured no one would mind. No one was here, just endless miles and miles of dunes. We heard some quads from a distance but never really saw them.
Day 2: Salvation Mountain
Unlike the sand dunes, we weren’t able to climb this mountain. It is the brainchild of an artist named Leonard Knight who was simply paying tribute to God. Read about his work at their official site [link].
As cool as this place is, we only stay for a few hours and drove on to our next destination. The perimeter of the Salton Sea itself. There were plenty of places to stop and camp along the 111 and 86 freeways. We stopped at a place called Salt Creek and decided to camp there for the night. You pay through the honor system via an envelop and metal box. It was $10/night.
Although the campsite was right on the beach, we weren’t able to set up tents close to the water because what looked like white sands were actually a ka-bblijillion pieces of dry fish bones. (Maybe it’s time to invest in roof top tent?)
Day 3: Bombay Beach
The strangest place yet. It looked like the aftermath of Katrina, Harvey, and Irma. There were buildings and activity here once. It was supposedly a booming destination resort at some point and then all went a screeching halt once the stench of Hades took over. It still smells like that, in case you were wondering.
But we still stayed at a nearby campsite. We didn’t see any signs or markers to pay, so we just squatted (possibly illegally). Again, a roof top tent would have been beneficial, because of the eerie fish-bones terrain.
And from there we kept travelling south until we hit El Centro, CA.
But because of this entry, it may make sense to get a roof top tent.