Elite Land Tours, Inc.
540 S. Vella Road
Palm Springs, California 92264
PUC ID: TCP-17945 S
San Andreas Fault - Salton Sea Tours
This deluxe fault tour will take you to the most dramatic section of the 800-mile fault. You'll travel into the crust of the earth, traversing steep canyons and over rugged hills. See a wide variety of plants, animals, and reptiles that have adapted to life in the desert. Also witness some of the most unusual geological formations on the planet, including several rare slickensides. Have your camera ready! The excursion does a large loop covering more than 100 miles. You won't see the same sights twice! Over an hour is spent outside the vehicle exploring the fault up close and personal. As an added bonus, your guide will show you the famous Salton Sea – one of the world's largest inland seas and lowest spots on earth at 227 feet below sea level! This fault tour appeared in "TIME" magazine and the location was featured in the movie "2012". Gourmet snacks and a wide variety of drinks included. See more and pay less!...in complete comfort!
Here is a recent article about this tour that appeared in TIME:
Tour the San Andreas Fault
By Matthew Link
"Most guests ask me, 'so California will really fall off into the sea, right?'" laughs our tour guide William Blodgett as he bumps and grinds a huge Hummer over billion-year-old rocks that are so hot that I'm surprised they haven't melted under the scorching desert sun. "I explain to them that no, we will just eventually have Los Angeles end up by San Francisco one day."
I gaze up at jagged boulders perched above us. It's quite evident where some have recently plummeted to the ground. Layers of rocks, twisted into sharp curves by 3 million years of violent seismic activity, rise all around the vehicle. It's then that I recognize the place from scenes of the apocalyptic movie 2012.
We are driving directly along one of the world's most famous geological hot spots — the harrowing, 1,300-km San Andreas Fault, responsible for the devastating 1906 and 1989 San Francisco Bay Area quakes. The most dramatic section of this megafault is a small stretch called Box Canyon, just southeast of the upscale desert resort town of Palm Springs.
For earthquake freaks, it's the best place in the world to experience an active fault line. There, the Salton Basin sits roughly 70 m below sea level, where the Coachella Valley is being pulled apart by the Pacific and the North American plates as much as 35 mm annually. This year alone, the region has experienced three large quakes, including the intense 7.2 Baja California quake on April 4. Elite Land Tours, elitelandtours.com, takes you up close. Their four-hour, $129 It's Our Fault tour includes a desert safari in which mountain lions, rattlesnakes, vultures, roadrunners and large chuckwalla lizards are routinely spotted.
Our 26-year-old tour guide, Blodgett, a local student of archaeology, was philosophical about his part-time profession of peril. "You just get on with your life and live with the risk of major earthquakes here," he surmised. "There's a reason why many of the major religions were founded in deserts. With the immense, contemplative landscape, you just say, 'I'm alive, I am here.'"
Let's hope both he and California stay that way.
Read what our guests are saying about this tour:
"Craig was a fountain of information about the valley, mountains, windmills and local and native history and that was before our tour got started. Out in the desert he demonstrated a vast knowledge of the plants, wildlife and fault topography as he expertly navigated the San Andreas Fault and washouts in the Hummer, getting us up close and personal with the historical geological activity.
A short walk led us to a stunning view of the Salton Sea and surrounding area.
Would highly recommend this tour to anyone!" Mike G., Desert Hot Springs, CA
"Just took our 2nd tour with Elite Land Tours during the kids' spring break. (Our previous tour was the night time "scorpion hunt" tour a couple of years ago). I had with me a bunch of 4th and 5th graders, as well as one 7th grader. They all loved it. Both Craig and Bruce were excellent guides and complimented each others' strengths. The kids had a fun time switching between Hummers, learning about the geology, looking for wild life etc. A friend who came along, who happens to be a 1st grade teacher, probably enjoyed the tour more than anybody else. I was a bit nervous that due to the economy, that there might be some cut-corners I would notice from my previous tour. Not true. I used to recommend this company to anyone who asked before and after this latest tour, I thought I'd give them a "public" thumbs up. Well worth the money for the individual attention, the caliber of guides and all around experience." Jaky S., Carlsbad, CA
"Took the San Andreas Fault tour with Bruce and it was great. Lots of information about the local geology, plant and animal life. Beautiful views of the Salton Sea and up close results of past earthquakes. Bruce won't overwhelm you with too much detail unless you indicate an interest. Great vehicle, snacks and guide. Well worth the price." Rebecca, Vancouver, BC