Bombay Beach and Slab City, California – July 2022 – Free Spirits in the Desert

The Salton Sea is a biological nightmare located about 100 miles east of Los Angeles. Created by mistake by people making an irrigation channel from the Colorado River to the Imperial Valley, only to see if massively flooded in the early 1900s, creating this ‘sea’.

By the 1950s the lake should have dried up since it has no natural source of water, but the farmers continued to flood it with diverted water. At this point developers decided this was a perfect spot to create some resorts for the Angelenos to come hang out at.

With contaminated run off from all of the agricultural chemicals being used, and a stoppage of the water flow the lake began to shrink, and become hazardous, thus ending the vacation appeal.

As a result some of the resort towns that had developed eventually became mostly deserted. One of those is Bombay Beach.

Recently though some alternate artists have re-discovered Bombay Beach and moved in, creating a unique setting. Enjoy the views, but stay out of the water.

If Bombay Beach is not unique enough, head on further south another 20 miles until you reach Slab City.

This ‘town’ is completely off the grid, situated on an old WWII Marine Corps based. When the war was over they demolished the buildings, leaving the concrete slabs behind. For a while it was used as a bombing range, but when they stopped doing that drifters moved in.

Today those that reside here (Slabbies) like to think of themselves as the Last Free People of America. It is a funky mix of art, junk and RVs – which are often a combination of the first two things.

Salvation Mountain is one of the more famous sights in Slab City. Created over a 30 year period by Leonard Knight it was featured in a movie called Into the Wild.

The light beam is not a sign from above, it was created when we took the photo through the windshield of the car with this reflection. But hey – if you see something else, c’est la’vie.

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