Salton City, California

by Will
(California)

RV Camping in Salton City

RV Camping in Salton City

RV Camping in Salton City
Fire Hydrant Along an Empty Street in Salton City
Wind Carved Sandstone Rock in Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area
A Lone Palm Tree in Salton City

Salton City is filled with roads going nowhere. These roads were laid out in the 1950s complete with fire hydrants. An entire community was expected to form. But it never happened. There are city streets, but no city.


It’s flat, desolate, part real, and part imagination. Your mind has to fill in the blanks in order to comprehend the nothingness in between.

Just looking at this parched landscape will have you reaching for your water bottle. The place is 99% dust. Even with just a little wind, visibility decreases dramatically and a haze forms on the horizon.

Nothing seems real here, and seeing the Salton Sea is as unreal as it gets. All this water in the middle of a burning hot desert seems to defy logic. In fact, the Salton Sea was an accident. For two years from 1905 to 1907 almost the entire volume of the Colorado River flowed into the Salton Basin. Why? Because an irrigation canal broke. Communities, farms, and the railroad went under.

Even though Salton City never really developed (there are more campers here than there are houses) you will find a well-stocked gas station with a laundromat and dump station. There’s also a small market for basic groceries.

Finding a place to camp doesn’t get any easier anywhere. There’s very little vegetation, it’s very flat, and inside nearby Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area camping is allowed just about anywhere. And that community that never formed...it makes for one nice campground. Just don’t try to get your water from a fire hydrant. Go to the gas station instead.

RV Campsite GPS Coordinates: N 33 15.770' W 115 59.480'

Elevation: -4 Feet

Campsite Directions: From Hwy 86 in Salton City head southwest on Hwy S22 (Borrego Salton Sea Way) for 2 miles. Turn left (south) on Veronica Avenue and camp anywhere you like.

Salton City Campsite Map


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Salton City RV Camping Journal

April 22nd, 2013

This is a convenient spot to camp right off Highway S22. The road leading in here is paved, can’t beat that.

There are no hot springs here, but there is a nearby hill with cold springs that may have been the site of Oh My God Hot Springs, which was bulldozed by the county on June 6th 1993.

Recreation: Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area is nearby and is popular with dirt bikes, 4x4s, and ATVs. The area is usually quiet on weekdays making it suitable for hiking.

Peacefulness: If you’re seeking solitude, this place is the definition. It’s so quiet one could hear a pin drop – except when the occasional ATV or dirt bike rides by.

Weather: It was hot during my stay. Highs in the 90s, lows around 60. It was mostly calm, sometimes a slight breeze and sunny with no clouds.

Wildlife: Couple ravens, jackrabbit, some lightning fast lizards.

Insects: A few flies

Cell Signal: Excellent 4g Verizon most of the time. I had pretty fast Verizon mobile broadband internet too.

Water/RV Dump: The gas station in town has potable water and a dump station.

RV Solar: 99% sun

RV Campsite Rating: 8 out of 10. Camping doesn’t get much more relaxing than this. It’s dusty when the wind blows, there’s little shade, but it’s an experience just to camp in such wide open silence. Stark yes, but beautiful at the same time. It's a surreal place to park the RV.

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