Mayans MC: Discussing filming, geography, and the Salton Sea

Mayans MC has been in pilot production for some time, but for the sake of this article, we want to discuss location more so than story.

The video below via executive producer Kurt Sutter’s official YouTube page features none other than Emilio Rivera close to the Salton Sea, where filming is taking place. So where is the Salton Sea? Even though it’s not that far from Los Angeles, most people within the city have never heard of it. If you’re in the LA area, you know it’s one of those places that has almost everything you could ever need; with that, there is very little reason to need to study anywhere else.

If you can find a way to get there without traffic coming out of the city (good luck with that), you can make the trip out to Salton City from Los Angeles in about two and a half hours by heading in a Southeast direction. Think of it as you’re heading out to Coachella, but you’re staying on the 86 a little bit longer.

The Salton Sea is the largest lake in California — it has salinity, it’s fairly shallow, and due to pollution over time it became a wasteland, with many of its fish killed off due to a lack of oxygen. It’s actually located significantly below sea level, though not at a Death Valley elevation. While we haven’t visited the area personally, we’ve seen enough of it to know that the place had at one point machinations to be a thriving desert oasis, a lakeside version of Palm Springs with contrasts of sand and water. Regrettably, things haven’t quite worked out so well.

We don’t know specific locations for Mayans MC filming, and to be honest we don’t want to since our purpose here is not to have people crashing production. We just find this area very fascinating, especially the ghost resort town of Bombay Beach. Getting there is a little bit trickier than just taking the 86 (it lies on the opposite side of the lake), but it was the town with the most ambition. Now, it’s almost straight out of an apocalypse, a poster child for 1960’s ambition mixed with current rot and decay. There are ruins everyone, a small that will still with you, but also still people who hold great memories of its heyday and continue to call it home.

A good resource to check out is the clip below from an old episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, which gives you an opportunity to understand the location and what’s transpired there over the years. Granted, this was filmed several years back, so it’s possible some things may have changed since then.

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