• Salton Sea SRA - East Imperial, California

      Photo by Peter Thody
      This fascinating lake - California's largest - is part natural (its basin was once part of the Gulf of California) and part man-made (it was created in its current form in 1905 when the Colorado River burst a canal and for the next 16 months flooded the area). By the 1950s this inland sea had become a thriving resort destination but increasing salinity and a build of chemical run-off from pesticides means it is now a lake with limited appeal to most vacationers.

      If you go:
      Despite everything, many migratory bird species continue to visit in large numbers, so this remains an attractive destination for bird watchers (but for how long?). Other activities include fishing and boating but for many its appeal lies in the often photogenic disintegration of once busy motels and other buildings.


      100-225 State Park Road
      East Imperial, California 92254 USA

      Mailing address:
      California State Parks
      P.O. Box 942896
      Sacramento, CA CA 94296-0001

      Phone Numbers:

      +1 (760) 393-3059

      +1 (760) 331-9944