Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The town of Bombay Beach may seemingly be the last place one might think of when considering walking or hiking areas in the vicinity of the Salton Sea. However this unique and strange place has become a haven for surreal art installations over the past few years.

While the town of Bombay Beach itself spent years as a ghost town in the making, with the few residents ultimately moving on after the Salton Sea's waters and image became less and less the Riviera-esque marketing gimmick of the areas boom, and increasingly an uninhabitable body of water marked by massive fish die offs every few years and a growing salinization makeup of the lake. The receding waters left the former lake banks exposed with structures that would disintegrate in the water, and left the gridded streets of the small town full of increasingly empty mobile homes.

Somewhere along the way, a group of artists moved in, building structures and art installations that incorporated the desiccated landscape and burnt out homes and lots. These days, those who venture off of the 111 highway and wander around the city a little bit will stumble across these odd installations throughout the town and concentrated on the marina playa. 

While the roads and marina are accessible by car during dry conditions, the sandy marina area makes it best to park on the open space near where Avenue E passes through the sandwall and get out and walk. Installations are spread out throughout the marina, with a few interesting ones at the Salton Sea's edge. Visitors can also walk throughout the town's flat dirt roads, to see where artists have taken over previously empty lots.

This is mostly flat land, and the distance depends on how much you'd like to see. Parts of the town take on an almost Burning Man feel in that previously castoff land has been utilized for art installations, though conditions of seasonal lake rising and falling will likely also lead to the temporary state of these installations.

There is no cost to visit the town or explore the area, however visitors should definitely consider completing the experience by stopping into the Ski Inn Bar and the town market who have been around since the town's heyday!

No amenities available in town and near the marina. This area is completely exposed and gets hot during the Summers.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Winter
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Interesting features everywhere. Unique environment.

Cons

Can get incredibly hot with no shade.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Features

Family friendly
Near lake or river
Big vistas

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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