The Salton Sea  is the largest lake in California, covering 376 square miles. It is about 227 feet below sea level. Its salinity level is 44 parts per thousand versus 35 parts per thousand for the Pacific Ocean. The sea's salinity level has been rising, putting the ecosystem at serious long-term risk.
It is a popular destination for boating and fishing. It is in the south-eastern corner of California, about 100 miles east of San Diego, 70 miles southeast of Palm Springs, 30 miles north of Mexicali.
Until 1905 the area was known as the Salton Basin. In that year, an irrigation canal from the Colorado river broke, sending water flooding into the basin. This flooding lasted a year and a half, and when it was done, the Salton Basin had become the Salton Sea. In reality, the basin has been flooded countless times throughout its long history, and periodically dries out because it is in a desert that gets 3 inches of rain each year.
In the past the Salton Sea was a resort area, but rising water levels and the increasing salinity of the water resulted in decreased tourism and the collapse of the resort industry. The majority of the business in the Salton Sea area is now agricultural.
It is safe to swim and fish in the sea! Don't believe the myths!
DO NOT PICK UP HITCHHIKERS ON THE EASTERN SHORE OF THE SALTON SEA. There is a state prison in Caliptria. Escaped inmates may attempt to hithchhike out of the area.