Bombay Beach – A Post-Apocalyptic California Town

Bombay Beach is surely one of the most interesting towns I have ever visited. The town is situated on the Salton Sea, 4 miles west-southwest of Frink in Southern California’s Sonoran Desert. The entire area is full of oddly calming post-apocalyptic views and various interesting projects left behind by artists, utilizing vacant spaces for creation in numerous expressive ways.

NOTE: Full gallery of photos is available for viewing at the bottom of this post.

In the early 2000s, the town’s population was 366, but has since only continued to drop. With a population now under 300, the town has become very quiet, adding some atmospheric effect to the calming emptiness. The town is the lowest settlement in elevation in North America. Besides the local American Legion, the Ski Inn is the only drinking establishment or bar in the town.

Bombay Beach marks the southern end of the San Andreas Fault. A berm now protects the west end of the town from fluctuating water levels. Portions of the town beyond that however were not so lucky, as they now remain either submerged or half-buried in mud. Residents travel mostly by golf cart, since the nearest gas station is 20 miles away in Niland.

American artist and musician Florian-Ayala Fauna grew up in Bombay Beach, and credits the town as a huge inspiration to the creation of her music. Fauna said the place had a “big impact on her childhood and becomes a major influence in her life.”

We wandered the town for hours finding more interesting areas at every turn. The heat grew intense as the hours dragged into mid-day. Warm winds kicked up dust along the dirt roads, and it was difficult to find any relief from the sun. It felt nice for a while; at least compared to the cold and windy conditions we had experience across the country up to this point. It feels quite nice, until you realize you’re a half-mile walk from the car and forgot to bring water with you, and decided to carry a 50 pound backpack wearing nothing to protect your now burning skin from the sun. That’s okay though. That wasn’t so bad compared to all of the horseflies deciding they wanted to land and bite every minute.

All in all, it was a great adventure that took up a chunk of hours throughout the day. I’d say one of the highlights of visiting this town was when a man stepped forth from a trailer and told us to take shelter. Yes, that happened, and it was great. If you visit, make sure you plan to stay overnight somewhere nearby so you have time to see everything. I still feel like we missed so many things, and I would love to make a return visit.

Very often, I’m asked what gear I use for my photography, videography, etc. Questions ranging from what type of camera/cameras I use, what lenses I use, backpacks, memory cards, even what type of laptop I recommend, or what type of introductory camera I recommend…all that stuff, and more!

Well, of course I love to recommend camera gear or adventure gear that I trust and love, so at the end of each post I create here on my blog, I like to give a bit of a run-down on gear I use almost all the time!

So here it is! My entire (or most of it) list of photography/editing/adventure gear that I use.

My Camera (Sony a7riii)

Alternative Camera

Theta 360 Camera

Sandisk Memory Cards

Sony 16-35 4.0

Zeiss 55 1.8

Zeiss 85 1.8 Batis

Laowa 12mm 2.8 Zero-D

My Favorite Backpack

Tripod 1

Tripod 2

MSI Laptop (great for editing, & much more)

My e-books

Hardcover books and prints available

Full gallery of photos below:


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