In the 50s and 60s Salton Sea with it's great sunsets, yacht clubs, fish and waterski was like Palm Springs but with beaches. It would regularly attract over half a million visitors annually. But something happened, by the 70s, the water was becoming too hostile to sustain much of any kind of life, and the shoreline became littered with thousands and thousands of dead fish. The "miracle in the desert" became a smelling fish graveyard. Since that the area became mostly abandoned, with a high rate of drug, alcohol, animals and child abuse.
Not too far from the Salton Sea, Slab City a all year campsite in the Colorado Desert, is located. The population of Slab City is a mix of Campers, Artists, Hippies, Squatters, Homeless, Junkies and desert People. It's biggest attraction is Salvation Mountain, an art installation dedicated to the love of Jesus in the middle of the desert. The art work is made from adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of paint, it's creator Leonard Knight died recently.
To learn more about Salton Sea and it's weird charm you should watch the documentary Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea. See the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oTZkDjAH3M
Me and my friends went on a little road trip to see it with our own eyes and found out: The Salton Sea is a beautiful vacation destination.