BajaNomad

Slab City Questions?

LancairDriver - 9-8-2019 at 11:41 AM

A small group of friends are planning a trip to Baja late in October. One member of the group suggested a short detour to swing by “Slab City” which most of us had never heard of. I did a little research on the place and it sounds like it has evolved from a fairly popular place to camp in the winter to a perfect model for a Mad Max movie. Since there are a large number of adventurist Nomads who probably are familiar with the place , I was wondering what the comments on the place would be. So far I have gotten a few comments such as “Don’t go there ever” to “If you go, Leave before dark” Here is a Wikipedia link about the place.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slab_City,_California

thebajarunner - 9-8-2019 at 12:20 PM

25 years ago it was pretty interesting, lots of upbeat folks who did not want to pay for regular r.v. spots

Now, kind of creepy, actually.

We were there two years ago, late afternoon, by dark we were driving out and I am sure that I heard the banjos from "Deliverance" were cranking up

I highly recommend taking a quick look, have not heard of any bad stuff there, just an uneasy feeling pervades the place these days. "Mad Max" would be much at home there.

Don Pisto - 9-8-2019 at 12:28 PM

Quote: Originally posted by thebajarunner  
25 years ago it was pretty interesting, lots of upbeat folks who did not want to pay for regular r.v. spots

Now, kind of creepy, actually.

We were there two years ago, late afternoon, by dark we were driving out and I am sure that I heard the banjos from "Deliverance" were cranking up

I highly recommend taking a quick look, have not heard of any bad stuff there, just an uneasy feeling pervades the place these days. "Mad Max" would be much at home there.


as would alexander supertramp.....stop take a picture of salvation mountain and move on:yes:

advrider - 9-8-2019 at 04:10 PM

Don Pisto , not sure how many will know who the supertramp is but you had me laughing.. I watched a documentary last year about people living out there and it seems that meth has moved in and all of the hippie's have moved on... Might be worth dropping in during the day and size it up your self?

torch - 9-8-2019 at 07:04 PM

I would go for sure , because once it is gone ,it is gone. I've spent multiple days there and twice for new years eve.

BornFisher - 9-8-2019 at 08:02 PM

Visit for sure. Spend the night there? I wouldn`t.
If you want to boondock, go to the Niland marina, or Bombay Beach. For somewhere great, go to one of the hot springs resorts about 15 miles north. The Fountain of Youth is one. But a disclaimer here. Those folks out there don`t seem to be getting any younger!!!

mtgoat666 - 9-8-2019 at 08:24 PM

Quote: Originally posted by LancairDriver  
A small group of friends are planning a trip to Baja late in October. One member of the group suggested a short detour to swing by “Slab City” which most of us had never heard of. I did a little research on the place and it sounds like it has evolved from a fairly popular place to camp in the winter to a perfect model for a Mad Max movie. Since there are a large number of adventurist Nomads who probably are familiar with the place , I was wondering what the comments on the place would be. So far I have gotten a few comments such as “Don’t go there ever” to “If you go, Leave before dark” Here is a Wikipedia link about the place.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slab_City,_California


10 minute windshield tour is about all you need to tour this little community of misfit toys.
My view of slab city is that it is populated by misfits who want to go to Burning man but can’t afford to, or did go to burning man but were exiled for antisocial behaviour
If you like gawking at misfit self-exiles, the polygamist communities are more interesting, imho.

LancairDriver - 9-8-2019 at 09:27 PM

Thanks for the helpful comments which are much appreciated. We have decided to have a quick look while the sun is still up. As one comment stated, an interesting bit of history will soon be gone. Also it sounds like there are other nearby places worth exploring.

David K - 9-8-2019 at 10:10 PM

The bubbling mud pots, perhaps? I like geology!

ehall - 9-9-2019 at 05:51 AM

Supertramp. Into the wild! Check it out and move along.

weebray - 9-9-2019 at 06:43 AM

All kinds of alligators in this swamp. Cheesus freaks, hippies, meth heads, nudists, beardo's and on and on and on. Camps set up all over the land by oddballs of various persuasions. Fairly harmless, low murder rate folks. Policed by themselves. A must visit cacophony of mostly white folks that don't plug into the society as presented.

55steve - 9-9-2019 at 07:35 AM

Quote: Originally posted by weebray  
All kinds of alligators in this swamp. Cheesus freaks, hippies, meth heads, nudists, beardo's and on and on and on. Camps set up all over the land by oddballs of various persuasions. Fairly harmless, low murder rate folks. Policed by themselves. A must visit cacophony of mostly white folks that don't plug into the society as presented.


Spot on! I had family visiting from the UK and being some of the original Hippies they had to see the place...quick tour and a walk around Salvation Mountain and we were done.

StuckSucks - 9-9-2019 at 10:49 AM

If you enjoy the vagrants of Venice Beach, CA, you will enjoy Slab City.

Yes to mudpots and yes to Salvation Mountain. As mentioned by others, this will not consume a lot of time.

For extra points, watch the documentary Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea.

"Narrated by John Waters and featuring the Salvation Mountain art installation, Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea explores the economic, political and environmental issues that face the Salton Sea, a one-time vacation destination for the rich and famous that is now occupied by an eccentric and individualistic populace."

StuckSucks - 9-10-2019 at 02:29 PM

The moment of decision -- will it be Slab City or East Jesus?

daveB - 9-10-2019 at 03:39 PM

Slab City is a wonder unto itself. Haven't seen it for about five years, but I doubt it will change very much. Besides what's there, other things to see are available. The Sonny Bono Wildbird Sancuary is one in the area, in winter you will see throngs of Sandhill Cranes, and others. The bubbling mud pots which, in the old days, allowed for capture of CO2 which were then made into Dry Ice. Apparently, there are other similar pots, but none has exibited the CO2 bubbling, instead give off something quite a bit stronger. There is the quite expansive volcanic Obsidian field containing black rock that, when worked properly, can yield implements so sharp that surgeons in the past have used them as their main cutting tool. Nearby most of this is at the south end of the Salton Sea, the largest lake in California, but one shallow and containing a very high amount of Salt. The Lake, which has it's surface at about -250 feet below sea level, takes in water during the year mostly from farmland, that has been treated with fertilizers, but the only way to keep water from staying and overflowing (without an natural exit) is by evaporation, which leads to ever increasing salt and chemical content. Bombay Beach is ten mile from the hot springs resort of The Fountain of Youth RV Park, and was once a playground for Hollywood; nowadays you will never see a powered boat ply its shallow waters, and only one type of fish still survives, the telapia. A stop at the Fountain for a couple of days can bring all this to you, and back at the 900 or so campground, there are two swimming pools and five or six hot tubs, and a 600 seat entertainment centre.

ElCap - 9-10-2019 at 07:49 PM

We visited Slab City a couple of years ago on our way back from Baja. Definitely some interesting folks and art installations up there, but a medium-level sketchy factor depending on what dirt road you took once you got there. I'd say it's worth a visit, but I also wouldn't recommend staying the night. We drove on up to the Salton Sea and stayed at a campground there - an easy drive from there. Both places were worth the visit, but not likely I would make the visit again.