The Salton Sea

 

Bombay Beach located on the shores of the Salton Sea can be described as one of the most surreal locations. This tiny town, now consisting of only 200 people, was once a popular tourist and recreation destination where boating, sports fishing and vacationing reigned supreme. Now, the town littered with salt covered run down trailers and empty homes is all that is left.

Sitting -200 feet below sea level, the Salton Sea was a miracle of nature as it is typically a barren desert and hundreds of miles away from a large body of water. The Salton sea as we know it now was first caused by massive flooding in 1905 from the Colorado River, it created the largest lake in California by surface area. This "miracle" created a 15 by 35 mile lake which quickly became a popular tourist attraction by the 1950s. Hotels, yacht clubs, homes, and schools sprang up along the shores as the Salton Sea became a resort destination. Its legacy was short lived.

By 1970, everything began to turn for the worst. With no new inflow of water, the Salton Sea began to shrink through evaporation. Salinity levels began to rise, pesticides form nearby farms beginning to infest the waters, and depleted oxygen levels kill scores of fish. The Salton Sea now is a mere a empty husk of its former glory. 

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The Salton Sea is located roughly 150+ miles away from Los Angeles; roughly a 2.5 hours drive. Short enough for a quick day trip if you are set on doing a little bit of exploring. 

We made our stop at Bombay Beach, one of the few towns still remaining. There was one small convenience/grocery store store located near the town entrance. The town itself was scattered with some small residential homes but many other run down and vacant lots. The small town of only a few hundred remaining, appeared desolate and barren. 

Making our way towards the rear of town, you'll find a small dirt road between two sand dunes separating itself from the beach.

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Upon entering the beach, you can find salt covered wooden pillars line up in rows, old remnants of once a pier and boat ramp. The shoreline sit hundreds of yards away from this old piers, significant evidence of the amount of water evaporated from the Salton Sea. Scattered through this buffer area, you'll find sun dried fish, preserved in salt from the sea.

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Once you find yourself on the shore, everything you just experienced vanishes. Instead, when we stepped foot onto the shoreline, we were transported into a whole new world; a serene world of another dimension. Here, we found ourselves in a world away from the hustle and bustle.

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