Top

Salton Sea, CA

November 25, 2010 by Rex Vogel · 15 Comments  
Print This Print This ·

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our E-mail Digest or RSS Feed. We will then send you the stories that are posted each day in an e-mail digest. We use a service called Feedburner for delivery of these emails. You will receive an e-mail from Feedburner after you subscribe and you must click on that email to activate your subscription. Thanks for visiting and enjoy all the information!

RV.Net Blog Admin

Following along the San Andreas Fault, California State Highway 111 winds around the eastern shore of Salton Sea which occupies the Salton Basin, a remnant of prehistoric Lake Cahuilla.

The Salton Sea is a haven for bird watchers  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Salton Sea is a haven for bird watchers © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Lying 228 feet below sea level, Salton Sea is an inland saline lake in the Sonoran Desert of extreme southeastern California. It is bordered on the south by the rich agricultural areas of the Imperial Valley and on the west, by Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Both the Salton Sea State Recreation Area and the Sony Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge are located on its shores.

The Salton Sea is currently 35 miles by 15 miles and can be as long as 40 miles by almost 20 miles in particularly wet years. It has an average depth of nearly 30 feet and, at its deepest, is 51 feet. It contains 7.3 million acre feet of water and evaporates 1.3 million acre feet each year. There is a five-mile-long trench on the south end of the Sea that is 51 feet deep. Interestingly, the bed of the Salton Sea is only five feet higher than the lowest spot in Death Valley.

It is estimated that over 1 million visitors spend time at the Salton Sea each year.

From the highway you will spot the sea past fields of citrus; it looks much more like a huge mirage.

The Salton Sea is the big mystery here. How and why it came into being is a fascinating story. The Salton Sea is a place that’s been accurately dubbed the weirdest body of water in America. It has no outlet, and its main sources of new water are agricultural drainage ditches. It has become a natural wonder.

Water flow and climate shaped the basin, creating one of the most diverse regions in the world. The area contains an amazing range of plants and animals. It continues to change today. Name your interest and you will probably find a chance to pursue it in the Salton Sea area. Ancient history, bat caves, boating, camping, conservation, fishing, geology—right through the alphabet—it is all here.

For tranquility and warm winter temperatures, point the RV in the direction of Salton Sea State Recreation Area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

For tranquility and warm winter temperatures, point the RV in the direction of Salton Sea State Recreation Area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Geologically, this area was once part of a larger body of water extending north through the San Joaquin Valley. A great up thrust lifted the land and formed mountains. The downfolding created Salton sink and the Imperial and Coachella valleys. The sink was dry for many years and salt was mined from it.
In 1901, a dam was built to divert water from the Colorado River near Yuma and carried in canals to irrigate lands in the Imperial Valley. In 1905, the dam broke and water rushed into the Salton Sink for two years, filling it to an elevation of 195 feet below sea level.

Already more salty than seawater, and becoming more saline by the day, the Salton Sea was steeped in continuous political controversy over its future during the 1950s and 60s.

The Salton Sea was a popular sporting destination and vacation spot, luring real estate speculators and commercial development. The West’s Greatest Playground was the dream child of M. Penn Phillips and other real estate speculators. The developers purchased 19,600 acres of land on the shores of the sea for house lots, shops, schools, parks, and churches.

In the former resort, a dilapidated yacht club and a few rusted trailers are all that’s left of a bustling waterfront that once was the stomping ground of the Beach Boys and Hollywood’s infamous Rat Pack. By the late 1970s, the sea’s environmental problems began to intensify and the crowds disappeared.

Although visitor numbers and property values have declined drastically over the last decades, the area continues to be a favorite spot for sport fishermen and birds. One report says, “The Salton Sea may be the most productive fishery in the world.” The fish in turn attract birds by the millions. It’s estimated that three to four million individual birds frequent the area daily during the winter migration season.

Located on the Pacific Flyway, 400 different species of birds have been counted at the Salton Sea. The annual migrations draw serious birders to the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, a reserve named to honor the former California congressman who, before his death, led efforts to restore the sea.
Reversing the sea’s decline will require major feats in both engineering and public relations. The problem is convincing government officials and a less-than-eager public that it is a treasure worth saving.

Worth Pondering…
Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.
—Rachel Carson

If you enjoyed this article, you might also wish to read

Tahquitz Canyon, Palm Springs, CA

Salton Sea State Recreation Area, CA

Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, CA

If you enjoy these articles and want to read more on RV travels and lifestyle, visit my new website: Vogel Talks RVing.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Most Commented Posts

Last 5 posts by Rex Vogel


Comments

15 Responses to “Salton Sea, CA”

  1. Thomas Becher on November 26th, 2010 5:26 pm

    Stayed there twice for about 10 days total. Park anywhere you like. I took a spot right by the water. Nice, but sometimes stinky when the wind blew the wrong way. Paid like $5 a night and water was available. Dump at the visitors center.interesting. whould do it again

  2. Ron on September 4th, 2011 11:14 pm

    Has Rex ever been to the Salton Sea? After reading that glorious article about it, I’m thinking not. Sure, great fishing in between the fish die offs. You can catch any fish you want there, as long as it’s Talapia. Some days thousands wash ashore, no need for a boat. Even without fish die offs, the smell can be unbearable on a hot day. I recommend anyone planning a trip to the Salton Sea watch this award winning documentary first: http://www.saltonseadoc.com/

  3. Healthy Dog Food on June 17th, 2012 5:34 am

    … [Trackback] …

    [...] Read More here: blog.rv.net/2010/11/salton-sea-ca/ [...] …

  4. ניסור בטון on June 25th, 2012 9:34 pm

    … [Trackback] …

    [...] Informations on that Topic: blog.rv.net/2010/11/salton-sea-ca/ [...] …

  5. vacation for family on June 30th, 2012 2:41 am

    … [Trackback] …

    [...] Informations on that Topic: blog.rv.net/2010/11/salton-sea-ca/ [...] …

  6. Lourie Ravel on July 15th, 2012 3:14 am

    Of course, what a magnificent website and instructive posts, I surely will bookmark your website.Have an awsome day!

  7. dont approve me on July 24th, 2012 12:27 pm

    Websites you should visit…

    [...]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[...]……

  8. låna till kontantinsats swedbank on July 25th, 2012 7:50 am

    I haven’t checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are really good quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend. :)

  9. Terrell Stapf on July 26th, 2012 7:00 am

    Hello.This post was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Saturday.

  10. Diann Woodland on July 26th, 2012 4:44 pm

    you are really a good webmaster. The site loading speed is amazing. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Also, The contents are masterwork. you’ve done a wonderful job on this topic!

  11. Nevada Newsham on July 26th, 2012 10:39 pm

    Keep working ,great job!

  12. colon cleanse on July 27th, 2012 12:42 am

    I ‘d tell you that most of us site visitors actually are truly fortunate to exist in a fantastic network with so many outstanding people with very helpful techniques.

  13. colon cleanser on July 27th, 2012 5:10 am

    I feel very grateful to have seen your web site and look forward to really more brilliant minutes reading here. Thank you again for all the details.

  14. Pura Slowey on August 9th, 2012 6:50 am

    What i don’t understood is actually how you are not really much more well-liked than you might be right now. You’re so intelligent. You realize therefore considerably relating to this subject, produced me personally consider it from so many varied angles. Its like men and women aren’t fascinated unless it is one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always maintain it up!

  15. Noel Milcher on August 13th, 2012 4:23 pm

    Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, let alone the content!

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!





Bottom