Salton Sea

California, December 2016

Salton Sea and the surrounding areas are fascinating places to visit: Visually arresting and depressing at the same time. The post-apocalyptic looking landscape gives a shuddering glimpse of its all-too-short lifespan as a beach bungalow community.

Sadly I only discovered this place the day before and then found out it's only open 2 days a week. Sigh.

The state park officials are friendly and informative, proudly showing their historical film to any who pass through the small visitor center. They happily recommend nearby drives and canyons to explore, perhaps knowing that regardless of visual appeal, the seemingly empty town outside is not quite so empty, nor is it necessarily one so safe and welcoming to curious explorers.

Bombay Beach

Like most communities at the shores of Salton Sea, Bombay Beach has been harshly impacted by changing water levels. Most of the town is now partially submerged and has become a tourist attraction more out of morbid curiosity rather than tourism offerings.

Salvation Mountain

Built by Leonard Knight in the 90s, Salvation Mountain is situated in the Colorado Desert a few miles from Salton Sea. The installation is built from adobe, straw, and non-lead based paint. Visitors can walk through various "rooms" and even climb the yellow brick road to the top. It's an interesting sight to behold.

Slab City/East Jesus

A community made up of squatters and off-the-grid seekers, Slab City exists on abandoned WWII Marine Corps bunkers. There is no official electricity, running water, or sewers, but they do have performance spaces and a library! East Jesus is a nearby sculpture park, open to passerby, as long as you respect the rules.

This cowboy lives on Grapefruit Blvd. say "Hi" if you see him.

a story by @thatlalagirl #california #saltonsea #californiadesert #desert #salvationmountain #bombaybeach #slabcity #travel #goexplore #travelphotography #roadtrip #stellerstories #stellerplaces #december2016 #StellarOutdoors See more at Flickr and Instagram.