Day use and campground open all day and all night.
Salton Sea State Recreation Area
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community from COVID-19 by following these prevention measures while recreating in California’s State Park System:
- Know Before You Go – Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Have a back-up plan in case your destination is crowded. Stay home if you are sick.
- Plan Ahead – Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer.
- Play It Safe – Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the State Park System. Learn more at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
- Keep Your Distance – Avoid crowds. If there are too many people at a park or beach, please visit on a different day.
Wear a Mask – State Parks continues to follow guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health:
- Everyone: In indoor settings, such as museums and visitor centers, face coverings are required regardless of vaccination status.
- Fully Vaccinated Persons: Face coverings are not required outdoors except when attending crowded outdoor events.
- Unvaccinated Persons: Face coverings are required outdoors any time physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Leave No Trace – Leave areas better than how you found them by staying on designated trails and packing out all trash. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.
What is open now?
- Day-use parking lots, including the park headquarters area, Mecca Beach, Corvina Beach, and Salt Creek.
- Developed, undeveloped, and group campgrounds, including Headquarters Camp, New Camp, Mecca Beach, Corvina Beach, and Salt Creek. You can book reservations with ReserveCalifornia.
- Picnic tables, hiking trails, and shoreline access are available for recreational use.
- Biking, hiking, kayaking, wading, and wildlife watching are also permitted.
- Restrooms in the proximity of the park headquarters area, New Camp, Mecca Beach, Corvina Beach, and Salt Creek will be available.
- Showers located in New Camp and Mecca Beach are open.
- We request that visitors pay by credit/debit card or bring the exact dollar amount.
- Visitor Center is now open Wednesday-Sunday.
- Limited special events, as permitted by County Health Orders
What is currently closed?
- Camp Store.
- Large special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.
- Bombay Beach will remain closed.
- Varner Harbor is closed to vessel access until further notice. The Department of Parks and Recreation is meeting to determine the best course of action with regard to the decreasing water level of the Salton Sea and recreational boating access. At this time, you may access the Sea by wheeling or carrying your non-motorized vessel (or motorized, depending on how heavy it is) across the beach directly to the water. At this time we know of no other motorized access to the water on the Salton Sea. At no time are visitors permitted to drive vehicles on the beach in the Salton Sea State Recreation Area. Please stay tuned to the website for further updates as they become available.
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 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.
30 miles south of Indio on Highway 111. Located on the north shore of the Salton Sea, it is about a three hour drive from the Los Angeles or San Diego areas. From Los Angeles, take Interstate 10 east to Indio, take 86S exit then turn left at Avenue 66, then right onto Highway 111. Go south about 12 miles to the Salton Sea SRA Headquarters entrance. 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 Salton Sea SRA Headquarters entrance.
Day use area for Fishing, Visitor Center, Picnic, Birding, Sightseeing. $7.00 ($5.00 for Seniors)
Headquarters full RV hookups $30.00
New Camp developed campground $20.00
Boat Launch $5.00
Extra Vehicle Fee $7.00
Bus Fees: 10-24 persons $50.00
Bus Fees: 25 persons or more $100.00
Seasons/ Climate/ Recommendations
Off Season Jun. - Sept. 70-115 degrees - Very hot, water, hat, sunscreen, best fishing season
On Season Oct.-May 50-70 degrees- Best time to visit the park for any activity
Sea and Desert Interpretive Association
Discover important information about The Salton Sea State Recreation Area and Picacho State Recreation Area at this link: Sea and Desert Interpretive Association and find out how you can help care for these magnificent parks.