Trona Pinnacles At Night

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, some as high as 140’, rising from the bed of the Searles Lake dry lake basin.

The pinnacles vary in size and shape from short and squat to tall and thin and are composed primarily of calcium carbonate. 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 on 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, and in literature the crux of Gods Without Men by Hari Kunzru.

The Pinnacles are located within 3,800 acres of federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. At an elevation of 1,800’ above sea level, the pinnacles are located approximately 10.0 miles south of Trona, California. Access to the site is from a BLM dirt road.  The 5.0-mile long dirt road from State Highway 178 to the Pinnacles is usually accessible to 2-wheel drive vehicles.

 

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