Sea and Desert Interpretive Association
Salton Sea State Recreation Area
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January 23rd - 25th 2015.

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Due to generous donations from our community and other donors the State Park will remain OPEN this year. Volunteers are needed to help us stay up and running.

All of our facilities will be available except for Bombay Beach which has been out of operation for the past few years, and Mecca Beach Campground because of a pending maintenance problem.

There will be full hook-up sites available at Headquarters Campground for $30 per night and tent sites at New Camp for $20 per night. We also have sites available at our environmental campgrounds, Corvina Beach and Salt Creek, for $10 per night. Seniors get a $2 per night discount.

We are open for self-registration 24 hours a day. Use the envelopes at the entrance station and deposit them into the self-registration tube. Credit Cards are not acceptable so please use cash or checks. Day use fees of $5.00 ($4.00 seniors) are payable upon entering the park. They are valid from sunrise to sunset.

Our reservation system will be available in October by calling Reserve America at 1-800-444-parks or by going online at and selecting reservations. Review the Salton Sea SRA on the website by Clicking Here.

Our boat launch area at Varner Harbor is open, and we will have kayak rentals available at the Camp Store starting in November.

The Sea and Desert Interpretive Association would like to thank the donors and pledges who helped keep the park open:


Dennis & Chrissy Imhoff
Jay Kerley
Sherman Farnham
Frances Fiamengo
Kim Kronenberger
William & Patsy Meister
Buford Crites
Robert F. Wieser
Anne & Sherman Farnham
Elmer & Daroline Wilson
Kathy Lankis-Mix
Glenn F. Massay
Lee M. Johnson
The Palms Garden Club
Dawn Sylvester
Gretchen M. Greenwood
Ingrid Werner
Liz Ricci
Nathan White
Joanne Williams
Bill Orr
Joan Parmelee
Barbi Lazarus
Albert C. Thommes
Swimmer Family Foundation
Douglas & Beverley Jackson
Floyd & Margot Overholt
Jason & Marjory Lewis
Michael J. Friese
Christopher Zibert
Michael Ouellett
Lisa Martinez
Janis Clarke
Debra Scriven
April Fisher
Sirene Lipschutz
Troy Baisch
Jennifer Hemphill
Michael Ricci
Gtegory Bulla
Judith M. Bastian
Scott Beauchamp
James Nixon
Scott Halford
Vickie Ramirez
Ruth Nolan
R Wayne Hooper



Sea & Desert Interpretive Association
Salton Sea Authority
California State Parks Foundation
Imperial Irrigation District (IID)
City of Rancho Mirage
City of Palm Desert


What can you do to help keep the park open?

The Sea and Desert Interpretive Association has drafted a co-management agreement with the State and will operate the Salton Sea State Park jointly if we are successful in our fundraising goal.

This plan will require donations and pledges to SDIA totaling $250,000 to keep the park open for the first year. You can help by donating whatever amount you can.

You can donate using Paypal by clicking the "Donate" button on the top of this web page.

Checks can be mailed to the SDIA at 100-225 State Park Road, North Shore, CA 92254.

If you're visiting the park, you can drop an envelope in the 'metal ranger' at the entrance station with a check made out to SDIA.

Thank you for your support. With your generous donations, we will keep the Salton Sea State Recreation Area campground and visitor center open.


The future of the Salton Sea is in our hands.

What's in store for the Salton Sea and the Salton Sea State Recreation Area, and how will the public be affected? Includes interviews with Connie Brooks and Bill Meister of the Sea and Desert Interpretive Association which supports the park.


The SDIA's Salton Sea Visitor Center Video

The Salton Sea has a rich history and a fascinating story. This video highlights some of the historical and current facts of the Salton Sea.



Seasonal Sensations at the Sea

Kayak Tour Salton Sea Kayak Tour Salton Sea
Kayak Tour Salton Sea Kayak Tour Salton Sea

What an amazing season we have had at the Salton Sea. This has become a hotspot for kayaking, birding, and fishing. All winter our kayak tours were so full that we barely needed to even advertise them. The waiting list was full. People were traveling from as far as Arizona, San Diego and beyond and the public was unbelievably happy showing their appreciation for State Parks &The Sea and Desert Interpretive Association which made this program possible. It was a lot of hard work, but well worth it.

This season we took approximately 500 adults and kids out on the water. We kicked off the season with an overnight Picacho river tour and campout, we had a Moonrise Paddle, a Winter Solstice Event, the Valentine Sunset tour and a Sunrise Tour too. Now we will be finishing up with the "Secrets of Spring Festival" where we will offer Mini-kayak tours for families with children.

We also served several community groups including two boy scout troops, a girl scout mariner troop, two local colleges and some private groups also. The new Salton Sea Kayak Club is on the path to success by continuing to offer this amazing opportunity to middle school kids who managed to have a great time without their phones or electronic devices. Next year we hope to do more in the form of an afterschool program with the brand new Boys and Girls Club in Mecca.

A special thank you to our kayak volunteers Bob Dwyer, Connie Brooks, and Arnie Mroz for their loyal service, and also to the park staff for their assistance. I certainly could not have done this without them.

Not only did the public appreciate the experience, but they appreciated us by donating a total of around $1000 at our weekend tours. With the onset of summer we have the hopes of a promising future at the Salton Sea, and continuing to fulfill our mission by providing fun recreation for all.

-Fredda Stephens, Interpretive Specialist


The Sea and Desert Interpretive Association (SDIA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting educational and interpretive activities of the Salton Sea State Recreation Area and Picacho State Recreation Area. The SDIA's purpose is to promote a better understanding of the Salton Sea and its unique desert habitat. The SDIA wants to help spread positive awareness of the Salton Sea through activities and friendly service in the Visitor Center. This website will be a resource for the public to find more information about the region and learn the real facts. The SDIA's work with the Salton Sea State Recreation Area ensures a great experience for guests and visitors to the area.

There are several camping areas available within the park. These areas have been highlighted on the Camping Information page. The winter is a great time to camp at the park. The nights can be cold, but the days are warm and sunny. The desert climate is dry and the rain is minimal. There are winter rain storms that come through the valley so you should always be prepared. The summers are extremely hot, so one must have caution when partaking in outdoor activities. It's advised to learn proper desert safety before venturing out into the wilderness. Always make sure you bring plenty of water.

The SDIA operates a gift shop at the park's Visitor Center, which is staffed by friendly and knowledgeable volunteers. The volunteers can provide helpful information about the Salton Sea and answer any questions you may have. Numerous informational books, DVDs, maps, pamphlets and other materials are available in the Visitor Center. 


The Visitor Center is open!
Call for hours 760-289-9455 or 760-393-3810

 WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Salton Sea SRA Visitor Center


The Salton Sea State Recreation Area is located off Highway 111 in North Shore, CA. View the Contact Page for the address and map of the location. The Events Page shows times and dates of upcoming activities. There are free kayak tours, bird walks, junior ranger and campfire programs available at the park. The fishing is great and the tilapia number in the millions. The fish in the Salton Sea are safe to eat. The water is not polluted and there are many ongoing studies to prove these facts. It is the goal of the SDIA to help people understand the reality of the Salton Sea and know the real story behind this wonderful place.

There are restoration plans currently being discussed by the Salton Sea Authority and several other organizations. It's important for the public to understand what's at stake because if the Salton Sea is left to dry, several communities, including Palm Springs, would be affected by large dust storms. With your help we can spread awareness about the real issues involving the Salton Sea and help restore this region to the healthy environment it's supposed to be.



Bird Sightings 2013/2014

November January


Common Merganser

Pied-billed Grebe

Eared Grebe

Western Grebe

American White Pelican

Brown Pelican

Double-crested Cormorant

Black Crowned Night Heron

Green Heron

Snowy Egret

Great Egret

Great Blue Heron

White-faced Ibis


American Kestrel

Black-bellied Plover

Semipalmated Plover


Black-necked Stilt

Western Sandpiper

Bonaparte’s Gull

Ring-billed Gull

California Gull

Herring Gull

Caspian Tern

Band-tailed Pigeon

Mourning Dove

White-winged Dove

Eurasian Collared Dove

Anna’s Hummingbird

Northern Flicker

Gray Flycatcher

Black Phoebe

Say’s Phoebe

Loggerhead Shrike

Western Scrub-jay


Bewick’s Wren

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

American Pipit

Prothonotary Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Chipping Sparrow

Song Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Great-tailed Grackle

Brewer’s Blackbird

House Sparrow




Northern Pintail

Northern Shoveler

Rock Wren

Snowy Plover

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Abert Towhee

House Finch

Lesser Goldfinch

American Coot

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruddy Duck

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

Cactus Wren

Gambel’s Quail

Cooper’s Hawk

Red-winged Blackbird

Lincoln’s Sparrow


Great Horned Owl





Belter Kingfisher

MacGillivray’s Warbler

Common Raven

Thayer’s Gull

Mew Gull

Turkey Vulture

Warbling Vireo

Green-winged Teal

Rock Pigeon

Red-breasted Merganser

Glaucous-winged Gull

Least Sandpiper

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Lark Sparrow

Least Sandpiper

Wilson’s Snipe

Red-tailed Hawk




Prairie Falcon

Lesser Scaup

European Starling

Yellow-footed Gull

Common Yellowthroat

White-throated sparrow

Costa’s Hummingbird

Northern Rough-winged swallow

Violet-green swallow



Marbled Godwit


Marsh Wren

Tree Swallow




For questions or more information please call the Visitor Center: 760-289-9455 or 760-393-3810.


Salton Sea SRA

The SDIA works with the Salton Sea State Recreation Area and Picacho State Recreation Area by providing educational and interpretive activities for the public.

California State Park

Help support the park by planning a visit. There are many great outdoor activities available. Go fishing or hiking, bicycling or off-roading, your desert adventure awaits!

Contact SDIA for more information

Several campgrounds in the area offer a wide range of camping experiences. There are full hookups, tent sites and primitive beach sites available.

Read more about camping


The Salton Sea has been shrouded in bad publicity. The SDIA wants to clear up some of the rumors by providing this helpful page with facts and information. Find out the truth behind the Salton Sea and plan a visit to the area.

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