Salton Sea (South), Obsidian Butte | Wild Camping

United States

Details

Verified:
5 months ago
Altitude:
-59.2 masl
Website:
None
Contributor:
papillon3.com

Amenities

Electricity:
No
Wifi:
No
Kitchen:
No
Restaurant:
No
Showers:
No
Water:
No
Toilets:
No
Big Rig Friendly:
Yes
Tent Friendly:
Yes
Pet Friendly:
Yes

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Description

From the 78/86 Hwy in Westmorland take the turn to the 'Sonny Bono Visitor Center'. Before arriving there, drive the last road at your left (gravel), called McKendry Rd. to the end. Beautiful, lakeside, quiet, sandy. If wet, don't go too far with big rigs.

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We had a quiet night after crossing the border from Mexico. The obsidian rocks are interesting and the view on the Salton Sea is interesting. We had a nice sunset! On the bad side, you need screens or to close all the doors as soon as the sun goes down because mosquitoes come out! The smell at night (may be because temperatures cool down?) seems to come from the ground and was strong when we were there. That being said, we would come again for a one night transit.

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last week of December and there are no mosquitoes here at night.

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This is a crazy place full of interesting contrasts. Massive black obsidian boulders lie amid the billions of bleached white shells from a long dead lake. Billions of vicious mosquitoes at night vanish with the light of day. A sparkling blue lake belies the toxic waste within. The most unemployed county in California sits atop billions of dollars in Lithium 8,000 feet down. The smell of brimstone eminates from mud pots a mile away and alternates with the earthy smells of the marshy wetlands. The hiss of steam eminating from a nearby geothermal power plant competes with the sounds of coyotes at night, while birds cry out at nearby Sonny Bono wildlife Refuge only to be shot at in the break of dawn by hunters. Here you can park by a once coveted lake and be totally alone. It is a worthy, memorable experience if only for a night or two. We are in a 4wd truck camper so no issues with access, but any vehicle under 30' should be fine if it's dry.

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Part of the last 1/2 mile was a little dodgy in my class A. As described the parking area is very soft. Got set up and went for a walk. Changed my mind. Did not stay.

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We loved this spot, smells like a farm but the most beautiful sunset and interesting history. Warning however! We noticed a pretty big gouge out of one of our tires the next day and had to have it replaced. Could have happened anywhere but suspect it was some sharp obsidian on the ground here.

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FREE. No facilities.

Wow! At the old boat launch site the view is northwards over the lake. The factories are out of sight but there is constant background whitenoise. Highly recommended location. Mosquitos can be a nuisance when close to vegetation.

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A little tricky to navigate to the actual “coastline” in the dark but I would argue that this place is actually quite beautiful! The obsidian formations are super neat and I definitely enjoyed the variety of shorebirds in the morning.

It was SUPER windy so I had no issues with the sulphur smells. I imagine it can be harsh when the air is still.

This place is fine for pets if you keep them out of the water.

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Great spot! Lots of places to camp. One other RV was here when we were but we couldn’t see them at all due to the mounds of rocks everywhere. Obsidian is literally everywhere! Black shiny boulders all the way to the beach. There is hardly any trash and the smell is quite mild, just a little sulphuric, which is natural. However, if the winds change, you can get strong whiffs of manure from the farms. That’s the downside here. The ground would also be very soft after rain.

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Beautiful place. Lots of bird. Overnight camping. The first night was perfect. Few people coming by for the view on the lake or for launching a boat. The morning of the second night, we wake up with the smell of sh*t. It was really bad! We couldn’t stay. I guess it is because the wind came from North. It’s so sad, such a beautiful place.

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Outstanding! Yes there is some industrial activity here but it's not harmful. Just geothermal power stations hence the mild smell of low level sulphur (H2S), similar to what you would get at a hot springs. Perfectly safe. Probably one of the greenest forms of electricity production around.

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works for a night, not really beautiful (factories everywhere)

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Very nasty smelling place, factories are all around spitting fumes.
Would not let animals out on beach the ground is filled with scum, trash, and other dead animals

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from the 78/86 Hwy in Westmorland take the turn to the 'Sonny Bono Visitor Center'. Before arriving there drive the last road at your left (gravel), called McKendry Rd. to the end. Beautyful, lakeside, quiet, sandy. If wet, dont go too far with big rigs.

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