Trona Pinnacles, Trona

4.7
#7 of 8 in Wildlife in California Desert
The Trona Pinnacles are an unusual geological feature in the California Desert National Conservation Area. The unusual landscape consists of more than 500 tufa spires (porous rock formed as a deposit when springs interact with other bodies of water), some as high as 140ft, rising from the bed of the Searles Lake (dry) basin. The pinnacles vary in size and shape from short and squat to tall and thin, and are composed primarily of calcium carbonate (tufa). They now sit isolated and slowly crumbling away near the south end of the valley, surrounded by many square miles of flat, dried mud and with stark mountain ranges at either side.The Pinnacles are recognizable in more than a dozen hit movies. Over thirty film projects a year are shot among the tufa pinnacles, including backdrops for car commercials and sci-fi movies and television series such as Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Disney's Dinosaur, The Gate II, Lost in Space, and Planet of the Apes.In recent literature, the Trona Pinnacles are at the crux of Gods Without Men by Hari Kunzru.GeographyThe Trona Pinnacles, at an elevation of 1800ft above sea level, are located approximately 10.0mi south of Trona, California. Access to the site is from a BLM dirt road (RM143) that leaves State Highway 178, about 7.7mi east of the intersection of State Highway 178 and the Trona-Red Mountain Road. The 5.0mi long dirt road from State Highway 178 to the Pinnacles is usually accessible to 2-wheel drive vehicles, however, the road may be closed during the winter months after a heavy rain.
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Trona Pinnacles Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
73 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Directions to the Pinacles goes a long Dirtroad. On the way are small signs to the creation. There is also a toilet in the middle of the Park. We have left the loop and did not hike. The large loop passes everything and you have to go out just for the photo. You can drive even the largest loop a slightly higher. A car I would not dare. After about 2 hours we were ready. A hike would extend the stay of course. On the way back and forth crossing train tracks. Here wagons were parked, that are also a nice photo opportunity.
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  • Read the other reviews for great information (remoteness, road condition, geology). My addition: bring your tent or small RV and plan to camp here for a really unique experience. And it's free! Thanks...  more »
  • We were treated to a visit to this unusual natural phenomenon during a visit with a family member who lives in the area. I was so grateful for all the interpretive signs explaining how these were form...  more »

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