A few years ago, I saw California’s Salton Sea featured on an episode of Tony Bourdain’s television show No Reservations. The curiosities of the area piqued my interest enough to think I might want to visit and so we did this January. What is now man-made, accidentally created inland sea was once part of the Gulf of California and later became a very large natural lake - a rollicking geographic history. Today, the Salton Sea, a 343 square mile body of water near the Mexican border, is fed mostly by agricultural runoff from the surrounding farming operations and has reached a salinity level of about 25 percent. With no regular source of incoming water, the sea is shrinking and if nothing is done to save it, will likely disappear within the coming decades and create a potential environmental disaster dominated by chemically-infused dust storms (that agricultural runoff isn't just pure water...).
If you happen upon the Trip Advisor page for the Salton Sea and go to the one-star “terrible” reviews, you might wonder why anyone would want to visit this place. Well, if you are a day-tripper from Palm Springs or LA looking for a swimming beach or an opportunity to lay in the sun, the Salton Sea is probably not for you. If you find geology, natural curiosities, and the ability to see dozens of birds in a single place to be of interest, you will likely find a short stop along the eastern shore of the sea to be worthwhile. Read More