Salton Sea, California
This beach is made of bones.
Really, what looks like pristine white sand is actually fish and bird bones. It feels and sounds fragile like glass underfoot, and it's really best not to think about it.
It's eerie and interesting at the same time.
After we spent a weekend in Joshua Tree, Afsheen and I detoured south to check out the Salton Sea before our car quit on us on the middle of a mountain on the way home (yup, RIP, 2001 Toyota Camry).
The Salton Sea is one of the most empty places I've seen anywhere in the U.S. It was formed by accident when some people diverted the Colorado River in the late 1800s and flooded the ancient salt flats. In the '50s, it became a happening tourist destination. Then the lake got so salty, algae blooms (from the surrounding farm/pesticide runoff) wreaked havoc and it became the ecological mess it is today. We saw countless dead fish washed up on shore.
A few people still live in the ghost towns surrounding the lake, and there's still an active parks department there... but it's a beautifully desolate place.
Snaps include the Salton Sea State Recreation Area and the once-thriving town of Bombay Beach.