The Salton Sea is the largest lake in California, and is a recreational hot spot. Due to the fact that it attracts birds in large numbers means that the birding is especially good, but there are many things to do in this area, including boating and fishing. An endorheic rift lake, the Salton Sea is full of salt and can be found at a low elevation. In fact, the lake's surface elevation is 235 feet below sea level. This makes it one of the lowest spots in the country. To put it in perspective, Death Valley's lowest point, which is the absolute lowest point in the country, is 282 feet below sea level. California is definitely a diverse place, especially when you consider that it also boasts some of the tallest peaks in the nation.
The Salton Sea has been labeled as "California's crown jewel of avian biodiversity," which essentially means that birding enthusiasts will be in heaven while spending time there. More than 400 bird species have been documented at the lake, and they include a Ross's gull. This bird's origin is the high Arctic regions. Many endangered bird species depend on the Salton Sea for numerous reasons, and these include the Yuma clapper rail, the American white pelican, and the eared grebe. This sea in Southern California is especially important to inland wetland species, as almost all of California's wetlands have been lost. For those who are interested in Palms Springs area events, it is worth noting that every winter, the Salton Sea serves as the site for an annual bird festival. This festival, which is called the Sea Bird Festival, takes place over the course of a few days in February and offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy, including guided birding tours.
The surface area of the Salton Sea is 380 square miles. This makes it larger than Lake Tahoe. Thanks to its ample size, boating is another recreational opportunity that visitors can enjoy, and if you want to add some extra fun to your day out on the water, you can also do some Salton Sea fishing. There are a number of boat launch sites at the Salton Sea, and three marinas. Since there are no tides in the lake and the salinity factor is high, this body of water is both buoyant and fast. If you go fishing here, tilapia reigns supreme. These fish can weigh up to three and a half pounds. Other species that you can hope to snag while doing some Salton Sea fishing are corvina, croaker, and sargo. The corvina, you might be interested to know, can measure more than three feet and length and weigh up to 37 pounds. A variety of prime Salton Sea fishing sites can be found along the shoreline, and they include the Salton Sea State Recreation Area's jetty.
Hiking is one of the top things to do in the Palm Springs area, and you can certainly add it to your Salton Sea agenda. Hiking near the Salton Sea can involve trekking along the miles of shoreline or taking to the trails in the nearby hills. At the State Recreation Area, there is a self-guided nature trail that is especially popular, and at the Visitor's Center, free nature trail guides are on offer. You can also get these trail guides at the Headquarters entrance station. As for the other recreational pursuits that can be enjoyed at the Salton Sea, they include kayaking, photography, and camping.
Salton Sea camping is ideal for recreational enthusiasts who want to stay close to the waters of California's largest lake. Around the shores of the lake, there are more than 2,000 campsites to choose from between the seven different campgrounds. When planning your Salton Sea camping adventure, you can opt to secure a site at one of the more complete campsites or choose instead to enjoy a more rustic experience at a campsite that features little or no amenities. Full hookups are available at some of the campsites.
If you're not up for some Salton Sea camping, a day trip can be very rewarding on its own. Maybe you'll drop by just to do some Salton Sea fishing for a few hours, or perhaps you just want to lay eyes on this fascinating body of water before you get back to enjoying all the other great area attractions.