The Imperial Valley was settled as a farming community in the early 1900s, and has remained a primary producer of winter vegetables and an area filled with cattle feedlots. Flooding from the Colorado River has wiped out the valley a number of times in the early part of the 20th century; now a series of canals controls the water flow. The flooding produced the Salton Sea, a large alkaline lake that nearly bisects the entire county.
The soil is fertile but highly alkaline. The watershed drains to the Salton Sea; the entire area was once underwater as the Gulf of California.
The area newspaper is the Imperial Valley Press.
A large portion of the population is Mexican immigrants, so while English is more common, many transactions take place entirely in Spanish.
Imperial County is essentially a safe area. But, it is still known to have gangs so always take precautions, such as not walking alone at night.
Imperial County also has very harsh summers. It's known to have temperatures 110+ in the summer (mostly from June to September) and have high humidity from June to October so always bring water with you everywhere. Becoming dehydrated is very easy to achieve, so always drink water, even if you are not thirsty.
Call 911 for police, fire dept, or ambulance.
- San Diego County
- Riverside County - Bordering Imperial County to the north, Riverside County's western portions include the far outskirts of Los Angeles, as well as more rural areas like Temecula, known for its wineries and hot air balloons. The majority of the county lies in the desert, with the most-visited portion being Palm Springs and its neighboring resort towns. Further east the county is essentially uninhabited, and includes the remote, rocky desert of Joshua Tree National Park, and the empty landscapes west of the Colorado River.
- Western Arizona
- Baja California