Slab City

Slab City is a largely snowbird community in the Sonoran Desert located in Imperial County, California. It took its name from concrete slabs that remained from the abandoned World War II Marine Corps barracks of Camp Dunlap. Several thousand campers, many of them retired, use the site during the winter months.

The "snowbirds" stay only for the winter before migrating north in spring to cooler climates. The temperatures during summer are as high as 120 °F; nonetheless, there is a group of around 150 permanent residents who live in "The Slabs" year round. Others have moved to there to learn how to live off the grid and be left alone.

The site is both decommissioned and uncontrolled, and there is no charge for parking. The site has no official electricity, running water, sewers, toilets or trash pickup service. Many residents use generators or solar panels to generate electricity. The closest body of civilization with proper law enforcement is approximately four miles southwest in Niland where the residents often go to do basic shopping. As a result, the site is described by its inhabitants as a miniature de facto enclave of anarchy.

All Images ©2021 Richard Greene

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