The Salton Sea is an artificial lake that was flooded when the Colorado river was diverted and failed to drain.
You’re probably familiar with the Salton Sea, an artificial lake that lies in the Salton Sink. It’s called the Salton Sea because it was flooded when the Colorado River was diverted and it failed to drain.
In 1905, during a period of intense flooding, engineers decided to divert some of the water from the Colorado River into a huge irrigation canal that irrigated nearby Imperial Valley farms (you may have heard of them). This canal is called Alamo Canal or All-American Canal. To prevent this drainage from allowing salt water from reaching into their crops, they built a dam at its upper end: Hoover Dam! The dam closed off any chance for flow between Colorado River and Salton Sink—the latter being an ancient lakebed sitting below sea level—and thus born was our permanent man-made lake located between California/Arizona border along Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.
Slab City was founded in the 50s by a local preacher who built a church out of scraps and left behind a Bible quote on the wall of his church.
Slab City was founded in the 50s by a local preacher who built a church out of scraps and left behind a Bible quote on the wall of his church: “Thus saith the Lord, I will cut off from this place, even him that is shut up, and him that is left in Israel: and I will bring them again to place them; for I will make an increase of men.”
It’s been called a fringe society that operates outside of the rules.
The city is a crossroads of sorts, with people from all walks of life gathering here. It’s been called a fringe society that operates outside of the rules. There are no rules in Slab City. The only thing you can count on is that nothing will be predictable or regular here—not even if you’re going to find food or water each day, let alone electricity or sanitation services.
This is not an easy place to visit; but it’s also not hard to understand why someone would want to live here now and then (or permanently). The residents who choose to stay are hardy souls who have invested years upon years living outside of modern conveniences like electricity and running water; some have gone so far as to build elaborate homes outfitted with solar panels and wells for water access.
It’s located about two hours outside of Palm Springs
Slab City is located about two hours outside of Palm Springs, California, on the edge of the desert.
The city was built in 1942 as a place for military training exercises and it’s been populated by artists, squatters and other outlaws ever since—even though there are no formal laws in this tiny oasis.
Access is free and there’s no running water, no electricity, and no trash pick-up.
The city is free for anyone to enter and there are no rules. But there are a few unofficial rules that most residents follow, including:
- No guns or weapons of any kind.
- Do not bring your own trash into Slab City.
- The population of Slab City numbers around 85 people who live in RVs and trailers throughout the day; some stay there year-round while others pass through during winter months when temperatures can drop below freezing.
You will see signs posted around Slab City that say “there are no laws here.” They’re not kidding. There are no rules, and there are no laws. There are also no police or any other kind of law enforcement, so it’s a free-for-all in Slab City. The town has no services, utilities or amenities of any kind (no restaurants or hotels). It’s just a bunch of trailers and tents on the desert floor.
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