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Salton Sea in California

Mark Orwoll, seasoned traveler and Travel + Leisure's Managing Editor, is here to help you with your travel questions. Think of him as your personal concierge, and ask away...

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Q. Have you ever heard of a desert area in California called "Salt & Sea"?What city or cities are near it?I am not sure in what part of California it is. Could it be near Indio?I would appreciate any info that you could provide.

A. You're all wet! It's not Salt & Sea. It's Salton Sea, a saline lake in Riverside and Imperial Counties, about 80 miles northeast of San Diego, 150 miles southeast of Los Angeles, and only about 15 miles from Indio. The lake, about 230 feet below sea level, has come and gone over the years, but has existed in its present state since the Colorado River flooded between 1905 and 1907, filling the then dry lakebed. Irrigation runoff now keeps the lake at fairly constant levels. The lake is one of the region's best places for birdwatching. It's also part of a state recreation area, with plenty of facilities for picnicking, camping, and boating. Find out more at the Desert USA Web site's pages on Salton Sea (www.desertusa.com/salton/salton.html).

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