Explore the most popular trails in Salton Sea State Recreation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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, located 30 miles south of Indio on Highway 111, covers 14 miles of the northeastern shore and has long been a popular site for campers, boaters and anglers. 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. Varner Harbor within the SRA provides easy access to the sea for boating and water skiing. Kayakers, campers, birdwatchers, photographers and hikers can enjoy the site's many recreation opportunities. The Salton Sea presently supports 80 to 90 percent of the North American endangered bird populations. Annually, as many as 1.5 million eared grebes and nearly half of California’s population of white-faced ibis have been counted at the sea. Cormorants and cattle egrets maintain year-round nesting colonies. From November through February, ranger staff offers guided boat tours; visitors may see tens of thousands of snow geese, Ross’s and Canada geese, and scores of thousands of ducks. Marsh birds, shore birds, and waterfowl of nearly every description stop over to replenish themselves. Typical of the Colorado Desert area, average low and high temperatures in spring and fall range from about 50 to 85 degrees. July and August are the hottest months, with 75-degree mornings and afternoons well over 100 degrees. Winter days average 60 degrees, but nights can drop to freezing.

hiking
2 months ago

Cool to see once. But people piss in the caves and it smells. Bring tons of water.

hiking
no shade
off trail
3 months ago

Not much of a trail but the Buttes are worth the hike. Nice views over the Salton Sea, would not recommend over summer as it was 90 degrees at 9:00am.

off road driving
5 months ago

We went from the fountain of youth campground to the bat caves then to the oasis. Beautiful views from top of caves. Oasis is really cool. It’s out in the middle of the desert.

9 months ago

This hike is very easy. Beautiful view. Caves did have bats, did not see them but I could hear them.

hiking
9 months ago

Easy hike, nice view at the top. Cool caves. No actually trail just follow the UTV tracks.

hiking
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Unique caves to explore and cool views, but must be a local party spot-be ready for beer cans and toilet paper in the caves.

hiking
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

great views, but not really a trail leading to it but you can follow tracks from off-road vehicles. Sand is very soft near the caves.

hiking
Monday, January 29, 2018

its a beautiful view of the sea but very dirty. once we got to the caves there was tons of toilet paper and the smell was awful. people use the caves as their bathroom .

hiking
Sunday, April 16, 2017

No obvious trail, just followed the wash and ATV tracks all the way to the buttes. Very cool place and did not see any bats. So sad that people thrashed the place and left some thrash and grafittis all over.

hiking
Monday, February 27, 2017

It's basically out in the middle of no where but once you get to the destination it is an AMAZING view. Not only are the caves beautiful but you can see the entire Salton Sea! ✔️

hiking
Sunday, January 15, 2017

So rad. You have to park on the dirt next to the road and then cross the train tracks and then it's about a mile to the buttes. Seems to be a popular atv area. There isn't a clear trail but it's impossible to get lost, you can always see the Salton sea unless you are on the other side of the buttes. We were out about four hours but did a lot of wandering.

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2 months ago

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5 months ago

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5 months ago

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8 months ago

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9 months ago

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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Friday, May 18, 2018

hiking
Saturday, March 17, 2018

on Bat Caves Buttes

hiking
Sunday, February 18, 2018

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Sunday, January 07, 2018

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017