15 votes

Salton Sea State Park

100-225 State Park Rd, Mecca, California 92254 USA

Closed Now
Opens Mon 7a
  • Independent
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  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
  • Public
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“One of the world's largest inland seas”

Lowest spots on earth at -227 below sea level, Salton Sea was re-created in 1905 when high spring flooding on the Colorado River crashed the canal gates leading into the developing Imperial Valley.  For the next 18 months the entire volume of the Colorado River rushed downward into the Salton Trough.  By the time engineers were finally able to stop the breaching water in 1907, the Salton Sea had been born at 45 miles long and 20 miles wide – equaling about 130 miles of shoreline.  Salton Sea State Recreation Area covers 14 miles of the northeastern shore and has long been a popular site for campers, boaters and anglers.  Increasing salinity in the Salton Sea basin has limited the number of types of fish that can be found there, and most fish currently caught are Tilapia. Varner Harbor within the SRA provides easy access to the sea for boating and water skiing.  Kayakers, campers, birdwatchers, photographers and hikers can enjoy the site's many recreation opportunities.

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Reviewed by
Anna Hider

  • Blogger
  • 1,414 Reviews
  • 619 Helpful
May 01, 2015
Rated 4.0

I'll get this out of the way now... it smells. Bad. But it's such a weird, eerie, creepy place! It used to be a popular vacation spot and now it's abandoned. Stop by the visitor's center for a better explanation of the history of the place! Oh, and make sure your car is gassed up and that you have water, snacks, and shoes you don't mind getting a little dirty.

4 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
July 10, 2018

This app is telling people to go here. How appalling !! I’m telling you now, it’s not worth it. It is a gross and disgusting place. Terrible smell of tons of dead fish. Dead fish litter the beach!! The state of California should do something about this nasty place because people do live there in trailers. I don’t know how they put up with it. The last thing they need are tourists coming in to see this travesty. There is NOTHING to see here.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 9 Reviews
  • 11 Helpful
July 25, 2014
Rated 3.0

Really nice access to beach. Watch out for flies and rattlesnakes!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Christina Gerrish

  • Road Warrior
  • 19 Reviews
  • 8 Helpful
March 13, 2014

Bright! Bring your sunglasses!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
October 11, 2020
Rated 2.0

Beautiful place not to many people but the water is not swimable and it stinks to high heaven! Would not recommend for those who want a camp site for lake swimming and playing!

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Reviewed by

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
April 11, 2019
Rated 1.0

This place is dumb. Don't bother. Nothing to do. Nothing to look at, far away from anything, not even a gas station. You can visit Bombay Beach, down the road, but it literally is 20 dilapidated motor homes. Nothing worth Instagramming.

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Reviewed by

  • 22 Reviews
  • 7 Helpful
February 08, 2018
Rated 3.0

So this place has a rich history which you can read somewhere else. I went in winter around sunset and the smell was not bad. There are skeletons of fish around, but there weren’t too many. It was weird to be on a beach where the “sand” was actually bones. There were a lot of flies, but also a lot of birds. This place is worth a trip to see because the surrounding area is so weird and also because it might not be here in the future !

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Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
March 26, 2016
Rated 4.0

This place is dead, i'm the most literal way. This spot is a must sea in the way: birds and flies feed off dried fish corpse on a white beach of bones and crushed seashells.

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Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
January 04, 2015
Rated 5.0

I used to live there when I was a kid back i the late 70s and early 80s

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Salton Sea State Park

100-225 State Park Rd
Mecca, California
92254 USA


Closed Now
  • Sun - Sat: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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