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Audubon California’s Salton Sea Experience: Dec 2-3, 2017

Two-day event will feature birding and an examination of conservation issues at the Salton Sea.

This event is free and open to the public, however participants are responsible for finding their own accommodations and transportation. The event will last for the entire day of Saturday and half of Sunday. On Saturday and Sunday morning we will have birding field trips to the Salton Sea with expert birders and local community members. On Saturday afternoon and evening, participants will have the opportunity to meet with local community leaders and learn about what efforts are being made on the ground to address environmental and public health issues for local residents and birds around the Salton Sea.

Co-Sponsored by Audubon California, Pinnacle Forum, and East Coachella Valley Christian Churches

Program Schedule (subject to change): 

Saturday, December 2, 2017
9am to 12pm – Birding Field Trip

​​Location: Salton Sea Recreational Area, 100-225 State Park Road, Mecca CA 92254
​Description: Birding trip led by expert birders. Light snacks and water will be provided. We do ask that you try to bring your own water bottle and stay hydrated.

12pm to 4pm – Lunch and Community Celebration
Location: North Shore Beach and Yacht Club, 91155 Sea View Drive, Mecca CA 92254
​Description: This part of the program is co-sponsored by Pinnacle Forum and East Coachella Valley Christian Churches with support from Audubon California. Come meet with the local community and public officials and learn about local efforts to protect the Salton Sea. There will be a community potluck with a variety of homemade dishes and beverages. There will be art vendors, local community booths, music, and family friendly activities. Audubon members are welcome to join in any or all activties and eat at the potluck. You are not expected to bring a dish. You are also welcome to go eat lunch offsite. There are some restaurants in the local town of Mecca which is about a 10-15 minute drive from the Yacht Club.

4pm to 6pm – Audubon California hosted Social and Networking Reception
Location: North Shore Beach and Yacht Club, 91155 Sea View Drive, Mecca CA 92254
​Description: Meet our Salton Sea Program Director Frank Ruiz who will share information about the work Audubon is doing in the Salton Sea and surrounding communities in the areas of human health and conservation. ​Come enjoy the sunset with fellow Audubon attendees. Light refreshments and dishes will be served.

Sunday, December 3, 2017
8am to 11am – Birding Field Trip

Location: Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, 906 W. Sinclair Rd, Calipatria, CA 92233
Description: Birding trip led by expert birders. Light snacks and water will be provided. We do ask that you try to bring your own water bottle and stay hydrated.


Travel and Accommodations Information

Most hotels are located either North or South of the Salton Sea. It takes at least one to one and a half hours to drive from one end to the other. If you are coming from an area North of the Sea, like from Los Angeles or San Bernardino, you might want to stay in a hotel North of the Sea. Most hotels in the Northside will be in and around Indio and Coachella.  If you are coming from an area West or South of the sea, like from San Diego or Orange County, you might want to stay in a hotel South of the Sea. Most hotels in the Southside will be in and around Brawley and Calipatria. If you are interested in camping, there are several campsites all around the Salton Sea. Bombay Beach is a good middle point area with campsites.

Please note that all of Saturday’s activities are on the Northside of the Sea and that Sunday’s bird field trip is on the Southside of the Sea.

Please see our Salton Sea Birding Trails map for information on lodging, food, gas and birding sites in the area. To download the map in English, click here. For a Spanish version of the map, click here.

Around the Salton Sea, gas is reliably available in Mecca, Westmorland, Brawley, Calipatria, Niland, and Brawley; between Niland and Mecca along Hwy. 111 is almost 50 miles of not much, so be sure to gas up before driving it if you need to.


  • Best Western Plus, Brawley (Southside of Salton Sea)
  • Brawley Inn, Brawley (Southside of Salton Sea)
  • America’s Best Value Inn, Westmorland (Southside of Salton Sea)
  • Calipatria Inn, Calipatria (Southside of Salton Sea)
  • Best Western Date Tree Hotel, Indio (Northside of Salton Sea)
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites, Indio (Northside of Salton Sea)
  • Please note that there are alot more hotels in the Indio (Northside) area that you can look for online.


  • Mecca Beach Campground (Developed)
  • Corvina Beach Campground (Primitive)
  • There are quite a few campgrounds all around the Sea.

More about the Salton Sea: 

More than 400 species of birds have been documented at the Salton Sea, making it one of the most diverse and significant populations of bird life in the continental United States. During the crucial winter months, it supports 30% of the remaining population of the American White Pelicans and 80% of North America’s Eared Grebes. It has been named an Important Bird Area of Global Significance.

While it is one of North America’s most valuable habitats, it is also one of its most imperiled. Water transfers in recent years have devastated habitat and increased salinity, making it hard for the fish many birds eat to reproduce. Audubon California has been working hard to create a future for this place where birds — and people — can prosper. Learn more here.


Dec 02 2017 - Dec 03 2017