Night Photography on the Road to Trona

Trona, CA

Beautiful scenery. Amazing landscapes. Dark night skies. All creating great photo opportunities.

The town of Trona is very small but the landscape here is definitely one your shouldn't miss out on seeing. These crazy tufa formations were formed underwater before Searles lake dried up many years ago. It's amazing that they are still standing tall! Very tall, in fact, you can see how they've dwarfed my Grand Prix in one of my shots.

You might hear that the road is unmanageable without 4 wheel drive, but I've made the trip several times now with my Pontiac. Just take it slow so you don't blow a tire. Not many people visit the Pinnacles, so you would be waiting a while for help!

After you've made it out to the Pinnacles you can pretty much hike around anywhere to find a good composition, there is a lot of opportunity. If you can, stick around for some milky way shots as well because it shines pretty bright here!

Pack List

  • Camera with APSC size sensor or larger
  • Tripod
  • Spare Tire
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Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Features
Scenic

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Take the road slow to avoid punctures and kicking up dust. I brought spare water for both the daytime heat and the radiator. Don't leave the road without basic repair tools, as cell reception does not exist, and it's a hot, dry walk to the nearest road. When you get hungry, swing through Ridgecrest, and stop by Casey's Steaks & BBQ. It's not divey, so it won't be packed with angry soldiers off the base. Get their trip-tip special as a treat at the end of a long day in the dry heat!

Google Maps shows Pinnacles Road coming up to the Pinnacles from Randsburg Wash Road to the south. It does go through, but you need much higher clearance vehicle to come in this way than from the north. There's a rough, rocky hill about a half mile south of the Pinnacles if you come in from Randsburg Wash.

The Pinnacles really do offer some fantastic photo opportunities! Such a fascinating landscape and easily accessible.


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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