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Salton Sea

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To the east of Anza Borrego Desert State Park lies the large body of water known as the Salton Sea. The Sea was formed in 1905 after a heavy winter rain when the Colorado River broke through irrigation canals and flooded the basin. Over the years salinity has risen and the Sea is now 30% saltier than the ocean.

Take CA-86 south and along the southern and southeast section of the sea you will find the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Here from late fall through the winter months large concentrations of snow geese, eared grebes, white pelicans, and other waterfowl are found.

One of the best viewing places is found by exiting CA-86 onto Vendel Road that will lead you directly into Unit 1 of the Refuge. There is parking here, an observation platform, a photography blind, and the Hardenberger Trail. The Visitor Center for the Refuge is located on Sinclair Road which can be accessed from CA-111.

CA-111 runs along the north and northeast side of the Sea and is the access road to reach the Salton Sea State Recreation Area. Here too bird watching is excellent and there is swimming, boating, fishing and camping.


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  • To:Salton Sea

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