Desert Shores is one of several small towns located on the western shores of the Salton Sea. It had its beginnings back in the late 1950s as a resort community. It was quite the place to spend a relaxing weekend, what with a Yacht Club, fishing barge, boating and nice places to stay. Sadly, things have changed dramatically since the heyday of the 1960s and early 1970s. A couple tropical storms in 1976 and 1977 poured so much rain into the sea, that it overflowed into all the towns along its shores, wreaking havoc and destruction. When the waters finally retreated years later, the salinity level was so high, almost nothing could live in the water.
I drove through the town recently, mainly to take some pictures of what is left of a resort near the water's edge. My imagination always runs wild in places like this, trying to picture what it looked like back when it was young and booming, the stories of the people who visited, the memories that were created during family vacations. That's part of the lure of places like this, the wondering and the wandering.
I've yet to be able to put a name on this resort, but I'll keep searching. Maybe a reader will be able to tell me what it was once called, or be able to share some pictures of what it looked like back during its years of operation. This appears to be the front entrance, with a loop-around driveway. The doors and windows are all boarded up.
Addendum: A reader posted a comment that this building was the "Marina Mobile Estates" clubhouse back in the day. She visited the site recently and reports that the inside of the building is now clear of trash and that the wooden statue of the Sea Captain and boy is gone. Maybe the owners are cleaning it up in hopes of selling the place. I hope the rightful owners are the ones who took the statue.
The remains of what was likely landscaping decorations, a boat and some pilings. These are near the palm trees at the front entrance.
I think this pigeon may have been suicidal.
This is the view of the back of the resort, there is a large parking lot back here which I can easily picture full of cars during the summer months back in the late 1960s.
Walking up to the back entrance. There is a pool on the right hand side, which is fenced in. The portion of the building behind the pool, which once had large glass windows, may have been a bar area where visitors could sit and overlook the pool and the harbor.
Walking through the open back door, this was my first view inside. See the thing in the bottom right corner? Guess what it is before looking at the next picture.
If you guessed "a safe," you were correct. I couldn't crack it. I'm amazed that it's even there.
Delving farther into the building, I was totally unprepared for the immense quantity of trash and destruction inside the old resort.
That used to be a grand piano. I wonder why it wasn't salvaged or sold before being abandoned to this sad fate.
The main room. Perhaps it once held tables and chairs, maybe a dancing floor, a snack bar, a lounge. Now it holds trash. After thinking about this for a while, my guess is that people have been dumping household trash here for years. There's no way that all of this could have been in the original resort.
After looking through several rooms in the same condition, visions of rats and thoughts of hantavirus suddenly entered my mind and I decided it was time to head back outside.
The pool. It's been my impression that people who express themselves with graffiti are typically lowlifes. Someone here apparently self-diagnosed.
A life-sized wood carving out around the side of the building. I'm glad it's been fenced in.
This must have been one of the premier places to park your boat.
An old slice of licorice pizza.
This last picture is of one of the inlets created when a number of "fingers" were built into the sea. Apparently, mobile homes and small businesses once occupied the fingers, but all traces of them have long since vanished. I would love to see some images of what this spot looked like when Desert Shores was thriving. If anyone has any, I'd be happy to add them to this post.
The Desert Shores Fire Department is near the old resort. That's a neat looking rig inside.
As with all my ramblings and photos, please feel free to download any images that might catch your fancy. Use them in any way you like. While credit back to this site would be nice, it's not required.
Google Earth satellite view of the resort.