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In 2012, George, a Vietnam veteran, retired truck driver, nomad, and explorer, came to camp in Slab City, CA. He never left.

In 2015, George had the opportunity to purchase a camp of trailers. He spent the next couple of years building a desert haven in a desolate environment. He opened the first Slab City .

The California Ponderosa hosts guests from around the world. Campers, explorers, tourists, families, friends, and all other daytrippers. Close to the canal, The Library, and offering tours of the area, The Ponderosa is the ideal spot to lay down your head. We respect your privacy and space, so we allow our guests to come to us if they need anything or join in communal areas for socializing.


"Put this on your bucket list if it's not already there. The Ponderosa is a wonderful place to get a taste of Slab City with George, the unofficial president, who seems to be well respected and connected throughout the area. Stay here and you will depart with a chunk of its spirit embedded in your soul. The Ponderosa is parallel to a canal, safe, secluded and loaded with earthy, folk-art charm. Three motor homes and several outbuildings create a fortress around the communal space complete with huge fire pit, decorative lighting, comfortable charmingly worn seating and a diverse cross section of characters. I met two timid 20-something girls from China staying the night fulfilling a bucket list; one well-heeled, sober, boon-docker who took me to see big horn sheep (what a fabulous experience) and environmental art on the western shores of the Salton Sea; one living piece of art in Renee, a tattooed, charming, earthy woman; a 50-something Spaniard, former horse jockey who lives there seasonally and George who vies for top spot of cool dude with the likes of a cross between Willie Nelson and Grizzly Adams. He is full of life and embraces his guests appropriately. I stayed in the Honeymoon Suite where George used to live. It's a fifth wheel with a sweet cross breeze and shade screen. The queen bed is comfortable, the sink, refrigerator, freezer and stove all function and there is a shower in a separate location that has hot and cold running water, putting the Ponderosa in the ranks of the Four Seasons of Slab City possibilities. George has breakfast and coffee for everyone, gratis, and gives a comprehensive tour of Slab City upon request, that helped me to see and understand the diverse society of veterans and folks who just don't want to have much to do with living on the grid for a load of varying reasons. George showed me the natural hot spring, the incredible water tank art, the internet cafe, the library, the pet cemetery and the historic remnants of General Patton's Marine base that became Slab City decades ago including an Olympic sized pool, now the skate park. The whole tour makes for a reflective experience. I do suggest leaving George with a $20 for his tour or a worthy bottle of whiskey (no cheap stuff, he fought for our country) as a token of thanks for a once in a lifetime experience. Don't miss The Range, a Saturday night Slab City gathering of open mic music and poetry. It's a mind blower. What crowns the Ponderosa is the opportunity to meet people that may not normally come into your life. With an open heart, you may have a fresh view of humanity and depart a changed person.."

-Karen from San Francisco, CA Guest in 2017



Come join us, and create your own version of Slab City!

All bookings and questions regarding Slab City visits are handled through our . Please contact us there.
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