Slab City or The Slabs (located at snowbird campsite in the Colorado Desert in southeastern California, used by recreational vehicle owners and squatters from across North America. It takes its name from the concrete slabs that remain from the abandoned World War II Marine barracks of Camp Dunlap.) is a
Several thousand campers, many of them retired, use the site during the winter months. These "snowbirds" stay only for the winter, before migrating north in the spring to cooler climates. The temperatures during the summer are unforgiving (105,110 and as high as 120 degrees F); nonetheless, there is a group of around 150 permanent residents who live in the Slabs all year round. Some of these "Slabbers" derive their living by way of government checks (SSI and Social Security and Social Security Disability) and have been driven to the Slabs through poverty. Others have moved to The Slabs to learn how to live off the grid and to be left alone. Still others have moved there to stretch their retirement income.
The site is both decommissioned and uncontrolled, and there is no charge for parking. The camp has no electricity, no running water, no sewers nor toilets, and no trash pickup service. Many campers use generators or solar panels to generate electricity. Supplies can be purchased in nearby Niland, California, located about four miles (6 km) to the southwest of Slab City.
1942: Construction of Camp Dunlap 
Construction of Camp Dunlap, if it is dry n which The Slabs now sits, was expected to prepare the United States Marine Corps for combat duty.
1949: Military operations reduced 
Military operations at Camp Dunlap had been greatly reduced and a skeleton crew continued until the base was dismantled.
1956: Camp Dunlap dismantled 
All buildings were ordered to be dismantled and the slabs remained.
1961: Land conveyed to the State of California 
As of October 6, 1961, a quitclaim deed conveying the land to the State of California was issued by the Department of Defense as it was determined the land was no longer required. The deed did not contain any restrictions, a recapture clause, or any restoration provisions. All of the former Camp Dunlap buildings have been removed. The remaining slabs were not proposed for removal. Later legislation required that revenue generated from this property go to the State Teachers’ Retirement System.
Creosote harvesting 
A chemical company in Oakland, California hired 20 men to harvest creosote leaves near Niland. Some of the workers moved closer to their work by living in small trailers at the abandoned Camp Dunlap. This is the start of what is now called Slab City.
1965 migration to Slab City Begins 
Riverside County ordered people to leave a camping area at Painted Canyon near Mecca, California. These people had all sorts of living arrangements. Besides the trailers, there were cardboard and plywood shacks, all sorts of vehicles and school buses. Some migrated to what is now Bombay Beach, Georgetown which is south of the Fountain of Youth and the abandoned Marine Training Base Camp Dunlap, now known as Slab City.
Salvation Mountain 
Located just east of State Route 111, the entrance to Slab City is easily recognized by the colorful Salvation Mountain, a small hill approximately three stories high which is entirely covered in acrylic paint, concrete and adobe and festooned with Bible verses. It is an ongoing project of over two decades by previous permanent resident Leonard Knight.
East Jesus 
East Jesus is an experimental, habitable, extensible artwork in progress since 2006 begun by the late Charles Stephen Russell in Slab City, California. The inhabitants of East Jesus and offsite members provide a refuge for artists, musicians, survivalists, writers, scientists, and laymen. They are dedicated to providing a working model of an improbable improvised community. Completely self-contained and run entirely on solar power, East Jesus attempts to use and recycle every bit of consumable trash. They are unique in the Slabs in that they have Human Manure composting to reduce and improve the impact on the local desert environment.
Visitors are advised to read their Survival Guide before arriving.
The Range 
The Range is an open-air nightclub complete with stage, lights, amplifiers, speakers and tattered couches and old chairs for seating. Every Saturday night at about dusk, the locals and visitors meet for a Talent Show that features permanent resident musicians and anyone else who wants to get up on stage and perform. The venue is run by an old time resident of 14 years named Builder Bill.
In popular culture 
- Slab City was featured in the book Into the Wild and also in the 2007 movie of the same name.
- The back of the Kyuss album "...And the Circus Leaves Town" shows the members of Kyuss sitting over a painting on Salvation Mountain.
- The video for "Fourth of July" by Shooter Jennings is partially set at Slab City.
- Slab City is described in Marisa Silver's novel The God of War, first published in 2008, about a family which lives in Bombay Beach on the edge of the Salton Sea.
- It was featured in the radio documentary program Hearing Voices episode "Small Town" the week of November 11, 2009. The segment's synopsis is "This town in California never did exist, though it’s full of folk who live there: an unofficial RV Park and home to the homeless thrives in culture and community."
- Slab City figures in Sue Grafton's mystery novel, "G" Is for Gumshoe, first published in 1990, about private investigator Kinsey Millhone.
- A fictionalized version of Slab City is featured in Hal Duncan's fantasy novel Vellum: The Book of All Hours, first published in 2005.
- A fictionalized version is also featured in Jeffrey J. Mariotte's 2003 novel, The Slab.
- In the cable reality show Art Race (broadcast on Halogen TV), one of the artists attempts to stay in Slab City to sell his art but leaves soon after dark with the show's crew because of fears for his safety.
- Slab City is the feature in an episode of the TV series Built to Shred (broadcast on FUEL TV)
- In the music video 'Santo Domingo' by Jon Fratelli, Fratelli is shown walking through Slab City.
- Slab City featured in the music video for the track "Everyday" by the dubstep artist Rusko.
- East Jesus, the Range and other parts of Slab City are featured in the music video for the track "Honda Prius" by the band Manhattan Murder Mystery.
- The majority of the play "Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter" by Julie Marie Myatt takes place in Slab City.
- "HV076- Small Town : HearVox". hearingvoices.com. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
- Military Museum Organization[dead link]
- Los Angeles District, US Army Corps of Engineers
- E Clampus Vitus John P. Squibob Chapter # 1853, Camp Robert H. Dunlap, March 25, 2006
- Slab City – Official Website
- East Jesus
- Salvation Mountain
- Tioga George's "Vagabonders" webpage
- Slab City Guide on FreeCampsites.net
- 2012 Time Magazine article.
- 2004 New York Times article, login may be required.
- 2003 UK Guardian article.
- East Jesus / Slab City artist Joe Holiday interviewed for the You Can't Eat The Sunshine podcast (2013).
- Howser, Huell (January 8, 1997). "Slab City (806)". California's Gold. Chapman University Huell Howser Archives.