Trona Pinnacles, Trona

4.8
#7 of 9 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
76 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • VERY Pretty.....rough rough dirt road from the highway..but that's why you have a rental, right ? Supposedly the TV show West World has some scenes shot here  more »
  • What a wonderful place! Driving on the washboard road, one thinks it's closer than it is to the tufa spires. Quiet and full of surprises. Just plain cool.  more »
  • Other worldly and special. Star Trek and other films have been here. Ubiquitous in car commercials. Just a unique place. Out of the way. Worth the journey.  more »
Google
  • You have to go over a gravel road that turns into a dirt road to get there, but it’s just incredible there, all these weird and huge rocks all around you make you feel tiny. Sunset was nice but there was a full moon when we got there so no stargazing for us. But a cool place to camp out at. Wind was very strong when we were there and there’s not much shade during the day so the protect yourself from the sun.
  • Very nice unique place. Prepare for a 6mi unpaved road ride to get there. It was beautiful during sunset.
  • Awesome location for astrophotography. A long drive from, well, anywhere, bit well worth it to check out the crazy alien landscape. A slightly rough track to get in and out but nothing that my 2wd hire car couldn't handle.
  • Great place to start gaze 💯👌 camping is definitely an option as well. Mins the winds though haha
  • Awesome geological site. But you need more of an off road vehicle.
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