Skip Navigation

Species Search:
ParkGuidesthreatened and/or endangeredPark Detailthreatened and/or endangered

Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge

The Salton Sea is a 360-square-mile inland lake that was formed in 1905 when a levee broke and the Colorado River poured into the Salton Trough, site of an ancient lake, for 18 months. (So much salt remained when the ancient lake evaporated that the present lake can be stocked with saltwater fish from the Gulf of California.) Year-round, the 2,200-acre refuge is one of the stateís best birding spots, with more than 380 species recorded at the sea or in nearby Imperial Valley. In summer, the post-breeding dispersal from the Gulf of California includes such rarities as Magnificent Frigatebirds, Blue-Footed and Brown Boobies, Wood Storks, and Yellow-footed Gulls, but temperatures along the shore are hellish. Fall brings huge numbers of American White Pelicans. Flocks of wintering waterfowl such as Snow and Rossís Geese are impressive as they rise from nearby planted fields. The refuge was recently renamed the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge.

Average rating
Your rating

Have you been to this park? How many stars would you give it?

  • hiking