Traveling companion(s): Adrienne, Rob and Chloe
Type: Slab City and the Salton Sea
Budget: Budget ($500-$1000)
Where did you go? We traveled from Washington state to Niland, California, which is about an hour and a half out of Palm Springs, located in the Cochella Valley. We stayed with my in-laws who have a house there and spend the winter down south. Their house is near the Salton Sea and Bombay Beach.
What did you do? Our first order of business was visiting Salvation Mountain, a giant art monument created by Leonard Knight to profess his love of God. It is made of adobe clay and painted every color of the rainbow with donated paint and supplies.
Salvation Mountain is located at the entrance of Slab City, which is where a community of snowbirds and squatters live off the grid in the former WWII-era Camp Dunlap Naval Reservation. Within Slab City is an area called East Jesus which is an experimental art compound you can explore.
We also went hiking at the Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge, explored the Bombay Beach area of the Salton Sea, took off on some 4-wheeling adventures and made a day trip to Arizona and Mexico.
What would you have done differently? We were only about an hour and half away from Palm Springs but we didn’t have enough time to check out that area. Next time we head down we would like to check out some of the ritzy areas of Palm Springs.
What’s your best travel advice for other offbeat travelers? You can camp out for free at Slab City in your trailer but there is no running water or other amenities. There are several RV parks very close by with water hook up for those who are not ready to go totally off grid. If you want to check out a very offbeat part of California this area is for you!