Apr 7, 2014

Natural Wonder- Salton Sea, an accidental lake!



Largest lake in California or call it strangest backwaters, Salton Sea is a shallow rift lake located right on the San Andreas fault. This terminal lake with saline water is considered as a crown jewel of biodiversity! It is a major resting stop on the Pacific Flyway. The sea/lake was accidentally created by the flooding Colorado river when an irrigation canal broke. The current surface of the lake is 227ft below the sea level! Within 150-miles from popular cities Los Angeles and San Diego, Salton Sea is one of the lowest points on Earth!

Salton Sea California

Salton Sea is also considered a largest inland sea! The salinity of the water which is greater than that of Pacific ocean! Because the Salton Sea is a terminal lake there is no outflow of water and in the hot weather water evaporates leaving the chemicals and salt behind. Only fish that survives this salinity is tilapia, other fish mostly die when there is fluctuation in the salinity. You see the dead fish on the shore and all the shore birds enjoying happily. Great egrets and purple herons were seen meditating... well fishing! Gulls were all around the place.

Salton Sea California

The blue water body stretching up to the hazy horizon looks very beautiful, though shore smells because of the dead fish and stagnant water. The white shoreline looks white and pretty from far but, it is not sand. It is dead fish bones and shells! The saline water has killed millions of fish and their bones wash up to the shore, break and look like sand! Palm trees and the picnic tables with shades are very inviting even in the hot afternoon. Be aware the whole area is exposed with no shade other than at the visitor center. 

Salton Sea California

Day use area has a fee of $5 and camping overnight is $20. Visitor center has a gift shop. A video is played continuously about the creation of the sea, its ancient history, bird migration and much more. If you are crazy about strange/special places on earth or you love fishing or you are birder then this place is for you. Even otherwise, just gazing at the blue water body is worth that $5 :)

Well, the special Salton Sea was my last destination on this road trip before heading home from Los Angeles. It was a great experience to be back in the American South West. If I get a chance I will return again to the red rocks, the deep canyons and vast open deserts! For now, looking forward to another trip somewhere else to different landscapes and culture. Be with me!

To Travel is to live- Hans C Anderson


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Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

20 comments:

  1. Gorgeous lake. Looks more like a huge oasis. Nice article, Kusum.

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    1. Looks like an oasis, but one cannot drink that water or swim in there!

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  2. Salton Sea is an interesting combination of mountainous regions, sandy beaches and palm trees. And quite a view, I suppose. I was unaware of the fact that it was created when an irrigation canal broke. I wonder if it is saltier than the Dead Sea.

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    1. It looks beautiful, and was a tourist hotspot once upon a time. Now, it is almost a deserted area with sandy beaches covered with a layer of crushed fish bones and shells. It is not yet dead because tilapias are still surviving :)

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  3. Very interesting. How does it gets repenishment again?

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    1. Thanks! It gets water from small rivers around, creeks and drainage systems.

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  4. I've never heard of the Salton Sea. Thanks for introducing it to me! I can't believe that the "sand" is not sand! Looking forward to following your adventures!

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    1. Thanks and welcome to my blog Amy! Yes, I too didn't believe it wasn't sand until I saw it myself!

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  5. I just love lakes, we have Western Springs here, and have lots of sea birds.

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  6. The "sandy" beach does look deceiving and the water looks inviting. Great post and interesting info.

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  7. Wow! I had never heard of this place. Great post and photos. Great place to catch shorebirds eating, I see!

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  8. All these amazing places you visit and I'm ashamed to say I haven't heard of them.

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    1. The word is so big and so we might miss few things :)

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