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Salton Sea Beach-Vision of the Apocalypse

Set in a stark and barren landscape in the deserts of Southern California the Salton Sea was created by an environmental disaster in 1905 when the Colorado River overflowed its banks and flowed across the desert and into the Salton Sink, a prehistoric lakebed. By the time the river was contained, nearly two years later, the lake covered an area of about 376 square miles. Today, another environmental disaster is killing the lake along with the dreams of those who live there.

The Salton Sea became a tourist attraction during the 1920’s because of its recreational boating, sport fishing, and abundant waterfowl and had some success as a resort area during the 1950’s with places such as Salton Sea Beach and Bombay Beach being developed but by the 1960’s it was clear that the lake was in trouble. Because it has no outlet and has three rivers flowing into it, one of which is considered the most polluted river in the United States, the salinity and toxicity levels of the lake started rising killing off waterfowl and many of the species of fish that were introduced in the 1930’s. Today only Tilapia thrives and even they suffer from frequent die-offs where millions of dead fish cover the shoreline and rot in the desert heat. The white beaches at the Salton Sea aren’t made of sand but of the crushed skeletons of the fish. There are several communities that have been built up around the lake but today they are largely deserted with only a few hardy souls hanging on. It is a sad, surreal place. But there is serenity to it also, with its quiet waters, dramatic skies, stark landscape, and, everywhere, the detritus of civilization and of broken dreams glowing in the soft light of days end.

Salton Sea Beach is on the western shore of the Salton Sea about an hour’s drive south of Palm Springs, California, off of Highway 86. There are limited facilities at the lake including, gas, food, lodging, and camping but nothing at Salton Sea Beach itself. Call ahead if you plan on visiting; it can get awfully smelly at times.

written by kdstevens

14 comments

  1. disdis

    disdis

    great and sad location!

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  2. planetape2001

    planetape2001

    What a perfect shot of despair!

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  3. planetape2001

    planetape2001

    incredible!

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  4. lomosexual_manboy

    lomosexual_manboy

    This was gonna be one of my LCA race locations up until the very last minute. The Salton Sea is rad. Cool shots.

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  5. stouf

    stouf

    The squares are gorgeous !

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  6. panelomo

    panelomo

    love ur' squares - keep it up, @kdstevens!

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  7. -a-l-b-e-r-t-o-

    -a-l-b-e-r-t-o-

    wonderful!

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  8. anarchy

    anarchy

    Excellent!!!!

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  9. majorted

    majorted

    Such wonderful yet freaky shots! Very nice! Heres a little video accompaniment to these pics: http://www.vbs.tv/wa(…)lley-1-of-2

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  10. azurblue

    azurblue

    A sad story, but a beautiful playground for lomographers ! I'd like to go there to shoot thiose ruined trailers ! Great gallery !

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  11. zulupt

    zulupt

    Great Location!!!

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  12. isabelbatteria

    isabelbatteria

    Sad, wonderful place. I love the way it is written, also.

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  13. ecchymoses

    ecchymoses

    amazing shots !

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  14. devrimarie

    devrimarie

    so many amazing pictures, and lots of terrific info, thank you so much! i am totally visiting next year....

    about 4 years ago · report as spam

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