The Trona Pinnacles in the California Desert National Conservation has a very unusual looking landscape, which consists of hundreds of tufa spires reaching to about 140 feet, all with varying shapes and sizes.

The Trona Pinnacles can be accessed through a 5 mile BLM dirt road (RM143), from the State Highway 178. Vehicles which are 2 wheel drives are okay to enter, but be aware that after heavy rains it's not safe to pass, because you may get stuck in the mud. Also, if you do not have a 4 wheel drive, stay out of the sand washes.

Continue along the road until you start to see the pinnacles, it's very hard to miss. Park anywhere along the side, and start exploring.

Visiting this unusual geologic wonder in the middle of the desert was a memorable experience for me. When we went, the moon was up high too, which gave the place a more dramatic effect. It's a great location to play around with night time photography, whether you decide to shoot the stars or do some light paintings using the long exposure technique.

Other notes:

-Primitive camping is allowed in this area without a permit.

-Temperatures reach 115 degrees in the summer months, so plan to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon during this season.

-You will find no other service in this location, except vault type toilets.

Fun Fact:The Trona Pinnacles is a popular film location, used in movies such as Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Disney's Dinosaur, and Planet of the Apes.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Food/Snacks
  • Water
  • Headlamp/Flashlight
  • Sweater (can be cold at night)
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Activities Chillin, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Family Friendly


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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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