The Salton Sea is one of the most enigmatic places in the Southwest. It is a unique place with many hidden treasures and secrets that are not well known. It has been forgotten as a busy tourist attraction of bygone years. Today, we have an amazing place to visit and explore. The sunsets and sunrises are stunning and peaceful. You should take the opportunity to experience it before it receding water levels cause it to change and vanish.
One of the world's largest inland seas and lowest spots on earth at -227 below sea level, Salton Sea was re-created in 1905 when high spring flooding on the Colorado River crashed the canal gates leading into the developing Imperial Valley. For the next 18 months the entire volume of the Colorado River rushed downward into the Salton Trough. By the time engineers were finally able to stop the breaching water in 1907, the Salton Sea had been born at 45 miles long and 20 miles wide – equaling about 130 miles of shoreline. Salton Sea State Recreation Area covers 14 miles of the northeastern shore. Increasing salinity in the Salton Sea basin has limited the number of types of fish that can be found there, and most fish currently caught are Tilapia. Kayakers, campers, birdwatchers, photographers and hikers can enjoy the site's many recreation opportunities.
We will be camping at the Mecca Beach campground at the Salton Sea Recreation Area. The meet and greet, potluck and other activities will take place there. February is an ideal time to visit with mild temperatures.
Activities include hiking a slot canyon in the Mecca Hills, a 4x4 excursion, an easy hike to the Visitor Center to view exhibits and a video on the Salton Sea, and a road trip to Niland area sites, including Salvation Mountain and East Jesus in Slab City, Obsidian Butte, the mud pot volcanoes, and the Salton Sea Reclamation Project.
4x4 owners: if you'd like to take part in the 4x4 event but not the campout, and you're willing to take a passenger or two along on the excursion, come down for the day and join us!
Schedule Of Events
Thursday, Feb 6
- Noon - Check-in at Salton Sea SRA - Mecca Beach Campground
- 6:00 pm - Meet and greet BYOB. Dinner on your own
- 7:00 pm - Group campfire - bring firewood
Friday, Feb 7
- 7:00 am - Coffee and muffins
- 9:00 am - Niland Area Road Trip (bring lunch or snacks)*
- 10:00 am - Hike on your own*
- 6:00 pm - Potluck (bring a dish to share for 4 to 6 persons)
- 7:00 pm - Raffle and Group Campfire - bring firewood
Saturday, Feb 8
- 7:00 am - Coffee and muffins
- 9:00 am - Meccacopia Trail 4x4 Drive*
- 1:30 pm - Hike: Explore Dos Palmas Preserve*
- 6:00 pm - Dinner on your own
- 7:00 pm - Group Campfire - bring firewood
Sunday, Feb 9
- 7:00 am - Coffee and muffins
- 11:00 am - Check-out time
*Check campground white board for updates and hike/outing details.
Contact Trip Leaders via email: Dennis Curran or Doug Wylie
Kayaking rental (optional): Kayak rentals are now available! Single kayaks are $20 and double kayaks are $30 for 2 hours.The kayaking is operated by The Sea and Desert Interpretive Association. This can be paid on site at the rental shop - bring cash. Wear appropriate clothes.
Amenities: The Mecca Beach campground has restrooms that have electricity, flush toilets, running water and free solar hot showers (Mecca Beach) or showers that take quarters (New Camp, 5 miles to the north), picnic tables, fire rings, shared drinking water and paved parking stalls. There is a small store on Highway 111 and another at the Visitor Center with limited supplies.
Amenities for Tent Campers: This is a good campground for tent campers. The campsites are level, sandy, with trees provide some shade. Sites are shared with another tent or an RV at the Mecca Beach campground. Parking is also shared between the two campers. If you want to share the space with another tent or a specific camper, send the Trip Leader an email and we will try and arrange it.
If you share a powered site you may be able share power with the RV. Powered sites have 20, 30 & 50 amp service. Bring a long outdoor extension cord, an outdoor splitter and a 30 amp RV male to 15/20 amp female adapter plug to give you flexibility in sharing power with an RV. If you have questions about the electrical service sharing, send the Trip Leader an email to discuss it.
February can have windy or rainy conditions or cold overnight temperatures that approach freezing. Check the weather forecasts before the campout, and be prepared for the weather conditions. If you have questions about your gear, contact the Trip Leader via email to discuss it.
Amenities For RVs:
- RV Electric Sites – The RV powered sites have 20, 30 & 50 amp service, and water service. The RV sites will be shared with a tent or another RV. Bring a water hose splitter and a 50 to 30 amp adapter. The RV electric sites have a sewer connection. At the end of the campout, RV's should be able to dump using one of the individual site sewer connections vs. going to the New Camp dump site. The dump station located here is included in your registration fee. Fresh water is available at the dump site to fill your RV tank before arriving at your site if you registered for a non-electric RV site at the Mecca Beach campground.
- RV Non-Electric Sites are dry camping sites – no hookups. QUIET HOURS are from 10 pm to 6 am and generators may only be operated between 10 am and 8 pm. See New Camp below for dump site information.
What to Bring:Ten Essentials, camping/cooking gear, food, warm/cool weather clothing, a camp chair to use around the campfire, shower quarters, potluck item for Saturday night, a bundle of firewood - no particle board, old furniture, plywood or construction materials. These cause the release of toxic gases when burned. Firewood is for sale at the campground. Don't forget your towel, swim suit and water shoes for optional kayaking, if available.
Directions: Take I-10 east to Indio, take the 86-S exit then turn left at Avenue 66, then right onto Highway 111. Go south about 13 miles to the Mecca Beach campground. From San Diego take Highway 78 east, then left (north) on Highway 86 . Turn right at Avenue 66 and then right onto Highway 111. Go south about 12 miles to the Mecca Beach Campground. For a Google Map of our location - click here.
Climate: Average for February: 76° / 43 U.S.Climate Data
Prices: Prices are based upon each person going being a GO Chapter paid member (day use does not require a GO membership). You can join - click here - and then register for this campout. Each person going must complete a separate registration. We do this so each registrant acknowledges our liability waiver condition and agrees to our Terms and Conditions.
Refunds: You may cancel your registration and receive a full refund if you email the trip leader by January 20, 2020. If you don't cancel before that date, there will be no refund unless we are able to sell your spot to someone on a waitlist for the same type of registration. If we are able to resell your spot, you'll receive a full refund.
Payments: Online payments using credit cards will be accepted.
RV/Trailer Profile Information: We need information on your RV or pulled trailer in order to assign you a site you will fit into. Please enter or update your RV or Trailer information when you register.
Photos: To see some photos from prior trip - click here.
Pets: Dogs are allowed. Must be kept on 6' leash. Please pick up after your pet and dispose of waste properly. Please be aware there are snakes and scorpions at this location. Blue-green algae have been identified in Salton Sea, most often in the summer months when water temperatures are high. It can be harmful to pets to consume the algae, and it is not advised to let pets go in the water or be in contact with algal mats.
Health Problems/allergies: It is the responsibility of participants to carry on their person a record of significant allergies, medications and medical history in the event of a medical emergency. Discuss any medical concerns with the hike leader if you wish.