View Full Version : salton sea

01-29-2007, 05:14 PM
Is anyone camping at salton sea state park? kinda feel like I made a big mistake in booking it.

01-29-2007, 06:28 PM
You did, salton sea is a a dump, literally. The lake itself is just a polluted mess, and the surrounding area is VERY run-down and ghetto.

01-29-2007, 07:03 PM

01-29-2007, 07:32 PM
from the pictures ive seen, it looks like Half-Life 2

I would kinda be interested in roaming around the area....but i dont think i would camp at the state park. I heard the smell gets really bad there.

some bizzare pics:






01-29-2007, 07:50 PM
You're screwed. The Salton Sea tends to stink up the Coachella Valley every now and then. But ya...you made a HUGE mistake. That place is crap.

01-29-2007, 10:59 PM
Is anyone camping at salton sea state park? kinda feel like I made a big mistake in booking it.
oh yeah I forgot about the park on the old hwy111, that place was the shit like in the 60's before the park got contaminated, dude that is gonna be one lonely drive all the way out there its so far from the festival its only 45 min but it feels longer cause its an old lonely hwy that no one uses anymore it feel like a ghost town you should google salton sea then youll see what were talkin about fuck it get piss drunk do some meth with one of the local tweakers and get lost in the sea that place is fucken weird dude its the scenery for a bunch of movies wierd fucken tripped out movies most notably SALTON SEA starring val kilmer its about tweakers

01-29-2007, 11:36 PM
it looks damn eerie

01-29-2007, 11:47 PM
All it needs is a few rusted-out cars and the Salton Sea would be straight up Mad Max.

01-29-2007, 11:48 PM
LOL....have fun.


01-29-2007, 11:49 PM
I stayed there in 2005, cause they changed the rules at Lake Cahuilla that year (you had to book overflow spots). Other than the 45 minute drive, the Salton Sea wasn't that bad. It was pretty quiet, but we found a few party people. Everyone we met was cool. It was all Coachella Campers no lurking tweakers. It might not be too late to transfer your reservation though, if you want to be closer.

01-30-2007, 09:19 AM
My husband and I camped by the Salton Sea in 2004, 2005 AND 2006. We found it to be a really amazing experience. Sure, swimming in the sea isn't a good idea, but it's a beautiful area nonetheless, and the showers at Headquarters are really nice, the people who stay there are nice, and it's just a really great low-key experience.

We love it so much that we went back again and again, and the only reason we are not staying there again this year is because we have a sick cat at home and are flying this year instead of doing the 10 hour drive thing (to cut down on the amount of time we are gone). We VERY MUCH recommend the Salton Sea--it is a wonderful respite from the crowds of Coachella, and you can do whatever you want when you're there!

01-30-2007, 08:27 PM
Bring a gun.


02-09-2007, 02:18 PM
me and 5 friends from wisconsin are staying at the salton sea, you can grill there and bring your own liquor in unlike coachalla so we just decidied to stay although i heard its not the nicest place as long as we can do our own thing i wont complain

02-11-2007, 03:57 AM
dude if youre going camping there during coachella chances are youre there to sleep,shower and drink i mean if you wanna admire it do it in the dark at least i do and its not as bad as the pix make it seem im gonna so be there and have a good time

02-11-2007, 04:25 PM
Party on the Salton Sea, Thursday the 26th. Follow your nose to the sent of good cooking and your special flavored tabacoo. We have 16 in our group and plan on making our own coachella at the Mecca State Beach Park. Girls and alcoholics welcome(byobab). Ill be the one on the grill


02-11-2007, 04:38 PM
ha-ha-ha!!!!! ur funny!!!!

02-11-2007, 05:18 PM
We mean business. A duty to get a little sloppy around the edge's and conversate with new people. Nice little fire, maybe a few guitars and jam. This is my third year camping there(Mecca State Beach Park Campgrounds), and everyone camping there is usually attending coachella. Except for the few that looked at a map and saw a big lake on map and thought it might be a nice place to camp. All I gotta say is when water glows in the dark and has a redish tent during the day, you know something ain't right. www.historychannel.com aired a few specials on american blunders and Salton Sea being on of them. Last year 06' with a few friends stubbled drunk towards the water around 2am and watch small glowing wave's. Toss some sand into the water at night, it's a trip :/

02-11-2007, 06:30 PM
post some pictures up if you have any, i seen those shitty ones but those dont have any campground in it, just curious to see what kind of environment im going to be camping in for 4 days

02-11-2007, 08:37 PM
Salton Sea fish losses blamed on cold spell
February 11, 2007
SALTON SEA — Hundreds of thousands of rotting fish have been found along the shoreline of California's largest lake in a rare winter die-off because of last month's cold snap. It's unclear how many of the estimated 200 million fish in the Salton Sea...
(from LATimes.com)

It's stinky there now.

02-14-2007, 11:55 AM
That shouldnt bother us in late april, but that probably means the fly count will be real high. 04 it was the flys that woke me up and 06 it was the sun and the farking trains. either way it will be a party on the sea.

02-15-2007, 07:56 PM
this will be my 4th year going and 3rd year at the salton sea. I look forward to parting with you guys. We're from Austin and we pick up a buddy in El Paso on our way. I hope they didn't change the rules and start taking reservations.

02-19-2007, 01:30 PM
From what I remeber, the heat woke us up around 7-8am in 06 and in 04 it was the flies. Guess it's gonna be the flies this year. And you haven't seen flies like the one in the desert. These mo fo's are suicidal.

02-19-2007, 11:53 PM
ok, so i fucked up and thought the camping passes were going to be available like last year, anyway the closest camping site i found was salton sea so i said fuck it i'm staying at the salton sea ... this is my first time there and i was wondering if more people were going to be there i was about to open a new thread but now i see that we're not alone ...
later, and see you at the sea!

02-20-2007, 11:01 AM
so how soon would one need to show up to get a spot on Mecca State Beach?

02-20-2007, 02:29 PM
Id say by Thurseday late afternoon inbetween 7-9. I remeber last year there were about 100 cars coming in at 2-3am.

02-20-2007, 05:03 PM
hey cocabean! i have a question for you man, you see i made reservation to salton sea, i made them form th-sun; anyway i can't get there before say 10-11pm on Thursday, so my question is: do they let people in at that time? maybe even later? or should i just wait to get there early Friday morning?
if you know what's up, please let me know .. thanks dude.

02-20-2007, 09:17 PM
yea, the gates stay open throughout the night. the camp grounds we're staying don't take reservations if I recall(Mecca State Beach Park). so you might want to find out which place your staying at and make a post with the name of the place.

Blue Box
02-28-2007, 12:14 AM
Camped at the Salton Sea the past 2 years and looking forward to heading back. It's always full with Coachella goers, plenty of partying going on but spacious enough if you just feel like chilling by the fire (definite perk over onsite). Most of the campsites have trees, position your tent to be shaded in the morning and you'll be able to squeeze in a few extra moments of sleep. Bathrooms are fine, so are the showers. The drive to the polo fields usually takes around 25-30 minutes, drive back a bit longer due to traffic (definite drawback). There's a small grocery store on the way that serves up damn good burritos for cheap (very spicy).

And yes, the lake at night does glow, and yes, its pretty amazing. Its caused by bioluminescent bacteria that emit light due to movements within the water. Chuck a handful of crusted salt into the water and it lights up like fireworks (and no the water is not toxic, just salty). This happens out in oceans all the time, used to freak sailors out back in the day. I believe the Salton Sea is one of the few places inland where you can see this (not sure if this occurs all the time though, dont remember seeing it our first year).

And get there early on thursday, the sunsets are beautiful.


02-28-2007, 02:22 PM
All I can remeber is being really intoxicated and walking over to the water late at night and see the little waves come in. WHAT A TRIP. Like bluebox said, take a hand full of sand and toss in the water. That's something else.

03-01-2007, 07:13 PM
I, personally, love the Salton Sea. my dad has a vacation house there. yes, it is run down, still though, it cool experience.

04-23-2007, 09:26 AM
I thought I'd made a mistake, too, but it looks like from the responses and all my research that there will be pluses and minuses. Check out the new documentary just out -- narrated by john waters: http://www.saltonseadoc.com/
seems to focus more on idiosyncratic individualists than tweakers.
Also -- it's important to distinguish between the abandoned resort area and the state park -- I hope!

04-24-2007, 04:29 PM
mecca beach state park only takes around 20 to 25 minutes to get to from the polo grounds, in my experience. my friend and i have camped there three years running, and this year looks like it will be our fourth.

at night time the place is wonderful - temperate, very quiet but with enough people around to not make it too creepy, most of whom are coachella people, yes, who are generally friendly and will talk to you. if you've had a beer or two walking on the shore is indeed really cool. we have arrived anywhere between 6 pm and 11:30 pm thursday night and found a spot without a problem. it's unstaffed at night, so there's little supervision, which is a nice change, and you pay by filling out an envelope with your camping site number and around 35-45 bucks for the spot. i believe for two nights that's all the money you need - not sure for three. there are two bathroom buildings near the shore, with free showers, and water fountains. fire pits with grilling grates are provided. sites are far enough apart that you don't feel encroached upon.

disadvantages do, indeed, include: the train tracks right across the highway, which parallels the campground. sometimes the freights go by and blast their horns, which can wake you up. not too often, though, and if you're exhausted you'll likely sleep through it. there's very minimal lighting (around the bathroom buildings, and some near the usually onoccupied attendant booth, from what i remember), so if you arrive after sunset, setting up a tent or starting a fire can be a pain without a flashlight/your car's headlights. showers have cold water only, which, really, is welcome in the heat/when you need to wake up, but it takes some getting used to.

it's a little stinky, yes, but i don't remember it being overpowering. i was there in 2004 and personally don't remember the flies. they certainly were not there in 2005 or 2006. it's the desert, and the heat will, no matter how tired you are, eventually force you to wake up. this can be a problem when you are super exhausted from the first day, and because you couldn't get out of the lot until 3 in the morning you only get five hours or so of sleep. this is a fault of camping in general for coachella, i think, and not that of where you camp. if you want more sleep, you should have gotten an AC hotel room. :)

04-24-2007, 11:25 PM
Thought you would enjoy these pix. They were taken two days ago. I did a Box Canyon/Salton Sea roadtrip.

Just so you know, it was about 80 degrees, no smell at all, and the sky was clear. There were some flies, but they didn't seem to be too bad. I think the fish cleanup was a good month ago.

You will be staying at an interesting place. Kind of like another planet. A must-see would be Salvation Mountain. Check it out on the web. Also, there are the mud volcanoes. You are aware of the mineral pools in Salton...right? No natural hot springs nearby though, that I know of anyway. I know there is a mineral shower somewhere alongside the road in Niland.

A little forewarning, for some of you 420-friendly sorts. There is a border patrol check as you near Niland. It will come upon you as a surprise, so beware.

Last, watch out for the crazy-ass drivers. There were four semis racing one another, and they were side-by-side in blind spots, and were passing in no passing zones. It was pretty insane. I know there are a lot of drinkers that take that road too. Which reminds me, watch out for Highway 86, in Coachella. It can be dangerous. I suggest driving w/ your lights on, even during day hours.

Kick back and view the pix. Just click on "Play", and if you want to view pic titles, move your mouse.

http://secure.smilebox.com/ecom/openTheBox?sendevent=4e6a4d794e7a4132664463774f544 9344e673d3d0a&sb=1

04-25-2007, 01:55 AM
A little forewarning, for some of you 420-friendly sorts. There is a border patrol check as you near Niland. It will come upon you as a surprise, so beware.

to my knowledge, since niland is slightly below the southeast edge of the salton sea, this would not be an issue unless you plan on camping way down at bombay beach, the farthest southern campground. if you're up more north on the east shore, where most of the campgrounds are, you should be alright. at least i'm positive there's no check point on the way down to mecca beach.

04-25-2007, 03:15 AM
Have fun getting raped and robbed by banditos and local tweakers.

04-25-2007, 06:13 AM

04-25-2007, 10:11 AM
people who start sentences out with "have fun" are usually the worst dudes. usually follow it with a self-assured snort and a discussion on what mounts they scored in warcraft.

04-25-2007, 10:40 AM
Re: the border patrol check. Yes...it is South of the camping and RV parks that have mineral pools in Salton Sea. If you plan to drive South and explore though, you will hit it. There is also one on the South side of Salton (opposite shore), but I don't know if anyone is staying there. There is a new casino there now. Probably less than six months old. Haven't been to it yet. It's called the Red Earth Casino, and it looks like it opened on April 3rd. For those who plan to take roadtrips in that direction, I would definitely continue on to Borrego Springs. It reminds me of Palm Springs fifty years ago. Nice little town and good hiking.

From Borrego, a drive up the mountain will take you to Julian, and you can take a long, scenic drive back to San Diego, or continue to Anza, Idyllwild, Hemet, etc. It is a full days journey. The windy roads don't allow for freeway speeds.

Forgot to mention...

Don't drive to Salton on empty. Once you get past Coachella, gas stations are pretty much non-existant. There is one place, maybe North Shore, where there is a sign for a gas station, but it hasn't been open for ages.

04-25-2007, 04:25 PM
Forgot to mention...

Don't drive to Salton on empty. Once you get past Coachella, gas stations are pretty much non-existant. There is one place, maybe North Shore, where there is a sign for a gas station, but it hasn't been open for ages.

well, sumrsplndr certainly seems to know the area more than me. i might even take his advice for the san diego route to heart (was planning on going there after the first day, since that's all i'm doing this year), or even check out the casino.

as for the gas rule, i can verify this is true. if you're coming down the 111 toward the salton sea (which runs along the east beach/shore, where most of the camp sites are), i recommend stopping at the rather large gas station in the very small town of "mecca" (i always thought this was an ironic name given that i travel so far just to go to coachella every year, heh) right above the north shore. they're open really late if i'm not mistaken, with a big, brightly lit, multi-tank gas station. there's also a 24-hour del taco in that town, which comes in handy when you're a little famished from the parking lot madness driving back to your camp site at 3 AM. it's about the last sign of civilization for a while.

04-25-2007, 06:19 PM
On the topic of making the trek to Salton Sea at the end the show...

...is there a best method to avoid getting stuck in the parking lot at the end of the show? It seems like it would make sense to park as far away as possible so you're at the head of the mob trying to get out, no?

04-25-2007, 06:30 PM
the traffic flow going out is different than going in (i.e., if you park by what you think might be an exit, may infact be closed when you go to leave). take your best guess where to park.

04-26-2007, 12:17 AM
On the topic of making the trek to Salton Sea at the end the show...

...is there a best method to avoid getting stuck in the parking lot at the end of the show? It seems like it would make sense to park as far away as possible so you're at the head of the mob trying to get out, no?

from what i remember, they have parking lot lackeys who direct you to your space, so if the lot's empty toward the beginning of the fest, i doubt they're going to let you park all the way toward the exit of the lot. if logic serves me correctly, it would, actually, make sense to get there as late as possible, missing some acts maybe, because the lot would fill up and you would have to be closer to the fences/gates that way, since the way they fill up the lots is put cars away from the fences and then gradually outwards toward the fences until full.