Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, Calipatria

3.6
#304 of 509 in Wildlife in California
Nature / Park · Hidden Gem · Wildlife Area
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The Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge is located north of the Mexican border at the southern end of the Salton Sea in California’s Imperial Valley. Situated along the Pacific Flyway, the Refuge is the only one of its kind, located below sea level. Because of its southern latitude, elevation and location in the Colorado Desert, the Refuge experiences some of the highest temperatures in the nation. Daily temperatures from May to October generally exceed 100 °F with temperatures of 116°–120 °F recorded yearly.
The refuge was established as a sanctuary and breeding ground for birds and wild animals in 1930. In 1998, the refuge was renamed after Congressman Sonny Bono, who played an active role in trying to save the Salton Sea. Originally, it included approximately. Nearly 60 percent of the original acreage was an open saline lake with the remainder being shoreline alkali flats, freshwater wetlands, native desert scrub and upland (farm fields). Due to the inflow of agricultural effluent and a subsequent rise in the level of the Salton Sea, all of the original Refuge area has been inundated. At present, only about 2,200acre manageable remain suitable for farming and wetland development.
The topography of the refuge is flat, except for Rock Hill, which is located at the refuge headquarters. The refuge is bordered by the Salton Sea on the north and intensively farmed agricultural lands on the east, south and west.
The refuge is composed of two disjunctive units, separated by of private lands. Each unit contains managed wetland habitat, agricultural fields, and tree rows. The courses of the New and Alamo rivers run through the refuge, providing freshwater inflow to the Salton Sea. Make Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge part of your personalized Calipatria itinerary using our Calipatria day trip planner.
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Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
67 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • I think the wildlife is dependent on the time of year. I loved the long walk to the top of the far off mountain tho the wind was ferocious. The view was worth it. Along the way I saw several large....  more
    I think the wildlife is dependent on the time of year. I loved the long walk to the top of the far off mountain tho the wind was ferocious. The view was worth it. Along the way I saw several large....  more »
Google
  • Knowing we would spend a couple hours here only and see some birds, we were not only happy to have a nice hike with plenty of birds. But we had a cool hill to club at the end to overlook the Salton Sea and the whole sanctuary. Solid visit!
  • Cool place for a bike ride. Its really nice that they named this after Sonny. I would say not alot of people visit here. Fabulous view of the Salton sea

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