The Salton Sea: A Ghostly Lake in the Desert

The Salton Sea: A Ghostly Lake in the Desert

As soon as we got out of the car and started walking towards the shore of the Salton Sea, it hit us. That smell. 


The Salton Sea: A Ghostly Lake in the Desert, Dead Fish

There are so many dead fish lying around the shore and it smells so bad. 


So, WHY would you want to visit this smelly place? 


Great question! And I have just the answer...the Salton Sea is the largest lake in California and it is eerily beautiful and mysterious! 



The Salton Sea: A Ghostly Lake in the Desert

The water from the lake looks beautiful from afar, but up close you can see it is very dark and murky. I would NOT swim in it, but there were birds just happily floating by!

The area surrounding the Salton Sea is like a ghost town. Everything seems to be abandoned, whatever is left over from an era when this used to be an oasis in the desert - it used to be known as California's "French Riviera" at some point. 



The Salton Sea: A Ghostly Lake in the Desert

According to San Diego State University's Salton Sea Website, the Salton Sea was created in 1905 "when massive flooding caused the Colorado River to break through an irrigation canal headwork and flow freely into the Salton Basin." 



The Salton Sea: A Ghostly Lake in the Desert

It does have serious problems, however, including the fact that it does not have a water outlet and the increased salinity levels. REALITY: Now, I am not going to pretend to be a scientist and try to explain what that means, so if you are interested in learning more facts about the Salton Sea, you can visit this website.



The Salton Sea: A Ghostly Lake in the Desert

I just wanted to share some information about why it is such an interesting place to visit, especially if you are already driving by the area. It is part a cool road trip to take when cruising through Southern California and you can get some great photographs for your collection, or video if you are into filming.

Speaking of which, make sure to check out the video we put together below, about our visit to the Salton Sea, so you can get a feel of what it is like to walk on the shore filled with dead fish!




We arrived here after visiting Salvation Mountain, which is part of an area known as Slab City in the middle of the Southern California desert. Originally, we were not planning on coming here, but it is only a short drive away from Salvation Mountain so it is worth the visit. You can read about our visit to Salvation Mountain, here.



The Salton Sea: A Ghostly Lake in the Desert

To actually get here and get up close to the shore and the lake, we went through the Salton Sea State Recreation Area, which is part of the State Parks of California. There is a $7 fee for visitors, it basically covers day use area for fishing, Visitor Center, picnic, birding, and sightseeing. There are extra fees if you want to camp out in the area with an RV. You can find a lot of useful information on the State Park's website. We visited in November and the weather was perfect, but make sure to check out that website for the weather conditions before going since there can be some closures in the park. 



The Salton Sea: A Ghostly Lake in the Desert

It may seem a little depressing with all the dead fish lying around and the smell, but we had to take some photos jumping with the lake behind us. Just look at the reflection of the mountains on the water...amazing!


The Salton Sea: A Ghostly Lake in the Desert

The Salton Sea: A Ghostly Lake in the Desert

The Salton Sea: A Ghostly Lake in the Desert

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