Trona Pinnacles, Trona

#8 of 12 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
89 reviews
  • The approach is very dusty and shakes you through a bit. For this you will be rewarded with a special landscape. Run around and enjoy something. Be sure to take water with you and take a sip again and again! The humidity is very low and you don't even notice how much you sweat ...
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  • Beautiful, clear and quiet. Chilly to cold in the winter, deathly hot in the summer. I will go back every year.  more »
  • Such a cool place with a great history. Campsite are nicely laid out..
  • Neat place. Long Bumpy road but not 4x4. Has vault toilets. Please pack it in pack it out...trash that is. If camping be respectful to others, keep the music and partying down because other folks are trying to enjoy the area too.

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