Saturday, May 19, 2018

Off to Trona Pinnacles

It has been two years since I was last on the eastern side of the Sierras. This time I figured I’d start with a place I’ve somehow never gotten around to.

Trona Pinnacles a BLM-administered area east of Ridgecrest CA. To quote the BLM:
The unusual landscape consists of more than 500 tufa spires, some as high as 140 feet, rising from the bed of the Searles 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 (tufa). The Trona Pinnacles have been featured in many commercials, films, and still-photo shoots.
What the BLM doesn’t say (and I’m falling off the No-complaining May wagon here) is that the 6-mile unpaved road from the highway is a wretched stretch of washboard and potholes. I know public land budgets are tight, but are there a few bucks to run a grader through here once in a while? Sigh.

But, back to the positive, it’s a cool place, very quiet, and the camping is free. Oh, and it was warm enough to stand outside in just shorts to take star photos.


  1. The giant wash just before the pinnacles can flood a quarter mile wide, seen it happen.

    1. Yeah, it's part of the Searles dry lake bed. It's where the rain runs to. The forecast showed a slight chance of thunderstorms, so I decided it was best to move on to higher ground. I'm in Lone Pine now.