A popular filming location, The Trona Pinnacles will spark your imagination. Fly to the moon, a distant planet, or imagine prehistoric creatures roaming the desert expanse.
These spires and castles of the desert were created thousands of years ago. The formations, some as tall as 140 feet, are called tufa, and they were created from a unique chemical reaction of calcium-rich soil and alkaline waters, along with some help from geo-thermal activity deep under water. Yes, much of our desert was once a chain of interconnected lakes from Mono Lake to Death Valley.
Now the Pinnacles sit on the dry Searles Lake near Trona. This easy day trip from Ridgecrest is just about 25 miles away off CA-178E towards Trona. Take the dirt road turnoff. Be sure to carry water and snacks. There are vault-type toilets on site. The Trona Pinnacles are a designated a Natural Landmark by the Department of Interior and are protected and managed by the Bureau of Land Management: