Trona Pinnacles, California

Destinations Index


Trona Pinnacles, California


The Trona Pinnacles are located about 35 miles west of the Wildrose entrance to Death Valley on Route 178. The Trona Pinnacles are BLM Recreation Lands and since it is not a park there is no entrance fee, gate, or ranger station.  They can reached by traveling on a 7 mile dirt road found just on the outside of Trona. The road is easily drivable with a car and speeds should be kept under 35 mph because of the loose dirt and uneven ground.




If traveled during the off-season or week day one probably will have the Trona Pinnacles all to themselves.

The town of Trona is fairly small but it does include fuel stops, a bar, individual owned hotels, and a small cafe that includes on the menu really good milk shakes.


A good day trip would include Aguereberry Point in Death Valley, the exploration of Aguereberry's  mine,  and the Trona Pinnacles.


Access to the Trona Pinnancles is from a BLM dirt road (RM143) that leaves SR 178, about 7.7 miles east of the intersection of SR 178 and the Trona-Red Mountain Road. Map



The Trona Pinnacles have been host to many movies and television shows including the recent remake of the Planet of the Apes.


Trona, CA Facts:

Population: 2,742

County: San Bernardino

Area Code: 760

Zip Code: 93562


Ridgecrest, CA

Ridgecrest, 25 miles away, has many hotels and food places. It is home to a military base and during October  a hot air balloon festival is held.

Parks & Monuments Distances (from Ridgecrest):
  • Death Valley National Park: 61 miles east.

  • Red Rock Canyon State Park: 31 miles west.

  • Saddleback Butte State Park: 98 miles south.

  • Sequoia National Park (via Whitney Portal): 80 miles north.


Amongst the rock formations lies a sign about the Trona Pinnacles. It reads as follows:

National Natural Landmark and Area of Critical Environmental Concern

Consisting of over 500 spires, some as high as 140 feet, the Trona Pinnacles are the most outstanding examples of tufa (porous rock formed as a deposit from springs of streams) in North America. These exotic appearing rock formations are relics of the glacial periods during which the valleys of this area were filled with water and formed a great chain of interconnected lakes. The area received water from the Owens River and occasionally overflowed to the south, east, and north.

The Pinnacles themselves, which vary size and shape from short and squat to tall and thin, are composed primarily of calcium carbonate and rise dramatically contrasted against the flat lake bottom, has been frequently, and appropriately, described as a landscape from another world.

Administered by the the Bureau of Land Management

"Trona" (movie)

A 63 minute film that appears to showcase the backdrop of Trona in its cinematography. The trailer to the film is impressive.

Read more at the film's website: a film by David Fenster


Related Photography and Information on this Website:

More Trona Photos

Death Valley National Park Information and Photography