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Trona Pinnacles, Trona

(4.8/5 based on 55 reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The place is fascinating, especially when you start locating where various movies and TV shows were filmed - like Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Battlestar Galactica, and Planet of the Apes. The dri...  more »
  • We drove by this signpost so many times, and finally we went. After a few days of rain the 5.5 mile dirt road was rutted and full of puddles, but we were able to take our Honda Civic all the way. As y...  more »
  • Out of the ordinary and interesting landscapes. Could spend from a few minutes to hours looking around and climbing in area. Only drawback is the 5 miles of dirt ( or should I say rock!) road into are...  more »
Google
  • This is one of my favorite places to camp and shoot astrophotography. You have to do a little off roading, I do it in my honda insight which is a tiny hybrid and I wouldn't recommend it to someone who actually loves their car. I love mine because it takes me places. Whether its at night, or in the day, this is a very unique place to visit, where tons of movies and mars scenes have been shot. It will make you feel as though you are on mars.
  • It's VERY remote. I provided medical for a video shoot here and it was a unique location for sure.
  • So much fun digging holes in the desert.
  • You can see and feal heaven on earth, specially at night.
  • Great place to visit and see a site of many rock structures.