Slab City, Salvation Mountain and Bombay Beach

Tomorrow we put the Salton Sea behind us and move to Arizona. I don’t know if we’ll get to Tucson tomorrow or if we’ll stop along the way. It’s about 365 miles from our current location. 


I’ve really enjoyed our time here and plan to return when I’m in the area. There are a lot of quirky things to see and do in this area. 

One day Murphy and I loaded up and headed deep into the desert to see some of the local sights.  I’d always heard of Slab City and wanted to go and see it for myself. 

Slab City is an impromptu town established by squatters who moved into an abandoned Marine Corps installation in California’s Sonoran Desert.  The name Slab City was inspired by the cement slabs left behind when the Marines left. 

There are as many as 4,000 people living in Slab City in the cooler months but in the summer it dwindles to about 150 residents. There is no power or sewer system. Residents rely on solar and generator power and water they bring in from the nearest town about 4 miles away. They do have a strong cell signal. 

There is no garbage disposal system available and the amount of trash littering the entire area is staggering. 

One thing that really struck me was the mix of different living quarters in the slabs. I saw vintage trailers that clearly hadn’t been moved for a very long time next to million dollar motor homes.

A long term resident of Slab City built Salvation Mountain near the entrance to the slabs. There were a lot of people visiting when I was there.

Bombay Beach started as a vacation spot for visitors to Salton Sea. As the lake declined so did Bombay Beach. This is what a lot of it looks like now. 

Perhaps the people from Slab City have spilled over to Bombay Beach.

Note the material used for stairs.

There are some really interesting vintage trailers in Bombay Beach. 

Okay Bye!

7 thoughts on “Slab City, Salvation Mountain and Bombay Beach”

  1. Slab City sounds like a place I would love to visit. Is it okay for visitors to pick up the garbage? I would love to do that and hail a few bags out if I can camp there for a few days? I read an article about camping there for free. Do you know anything about that?

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