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SLAB CITY
(California)

Located 4 miles east of Niland California (elevation - minus 121 feet ) on the east side of the Salton Sea (elevation - minus 235 feet ). Approximately 42 miles south of Indio (off I-10) on State highway 111 if approached from the north, or 54.5 km (34 mi.) north on State 111 from I-8 if approached from the south.Turn east on MAIN street in Niland and follow it past railway tracks, this now becomes Beal road. You'll notice what appears to be old check point stations along the way. Also you will know you are there by a beautiful religious artistic display on a hill to your right. Locals call it Salvation Mountain. (Scroll down for the picture.)

This is the old abandoned Camp Dunlap Navy base used in World War II; not under control of the Bureau of Land Management. All the buildings have been leveled and only the slab floors remain, thus Slab City.  Across the canal (Coachella branch of All American Canal ) to the east is a military bombing range and the Chocolate mountains. This range is still in use and occasionally there are some terrific explosions. This canal supports catfish, bass, carp and any other fish common to the Colorado river, it's source.

There is no cost to stay here and you can choose to park at will. Occasionally you will find clusters of similar type folks. e.g. Canadians, Americans, Singles clubs and various other clubs. I've been told that one should keep a good eye out for covered holes while choosing a site as they say that some previous occupants have dug holes for disposal of their gray water and just cover them with plywood etc. when they leave. There are also some permanent residents.

Water is available behind the grocery store where you turned onto Main street. Also at the SOCO gas station at the south edge of Niland. Propane and ATM are also available there.  There is a dump station at Niland fairgrounds located west of highway 111 at the south edge of Niland. The charge is $3.00 payable at a red post located at the exit. (Slot on top of post ).

There is also a dump and water pickup station at a rest stop about 12 miles south of Niland on highway 111 (3 miles south of Calipatria). There is no fee. For those who set up semi permanent there is water tank rentals and water delivery offered by a local water company. Local paper delivery is also available. Garbage is picked up every Thursday by a local resident with a pickup truck for a nominal fee. This is, at this time, on a trial basis and is not a permanent service. Otherwise garbage is disposed of at the sanitary disposal area north of the road entering Slab City (Cuff road ).

The hardier of the winter habitants use a makeshift shower for bathing. It consists of a hot spring rivulet running into a cistern. It enters into a 5 X 5 ft. concrete catch basin approximately 10 ft. deep through a large concrete pipe high on one side and exits through a much lower larger one on the other. It is open on the top. Someone built a stair of used tires to get to it and a ladder to climb down into the cistern itself.  Usually two or more people are there at one time as one needs to keep guard as the other bathes as there is no top on it. It is situated behind the first old guard station as you arrive on site before you get to Salvation Mountain.  There is also a makeshift pool (tub) directly across the canal from the shower.

 

Salvation Mountain Picture: JPG Format Load Time: 11 Seconds @ 28.8k

 

Other good pictures of Slab City by Dutch Schaafsma (This link no longer appears to be valid - will check it out.)

 

Slab-City (.com)  The Last Free Website about “The Last Free Place"

 

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Last Updated: August 5, 2013