Trona Pinnacles.

Trona Pinnacles

Field review by the editors.

Trona, California

About 200 odd rock spires are grouped on a flat desert expanse, like a seasonal refuge for extraterrestrial snowbirds. It's the Trona Pinnacles, strange geologic formations convenient enough to LA to be the shooting location for over 30 commercials, TV shows and sci-fi film projects each year.

The pinnacles were formed from tufa that grew into the formations while underwater in a giant inland sea during the Pleistocene Ice Ages. There are three distinct groupings of pinnacles, with the northernmost cluster easiest to reach by car.

The alien nubbins of Trona have become all too familiar props as planetscapes: planet Shakari in cheesy Star Trek V, a crash site in Lost in Space, a more spectacular crash site in Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes. Apparently there's nothing preventing adding your own otherworldly adventure to the list.

Official signs advise not to try visiting during or after heavy rains, and that some of the clusters are only accessible with rugged 4-wheel drive vehicles. The tufa is fragile, and visitors should exercise caution.

Trona Pinnacles

Address:
Pinnacle Rd, Trona, CA
Directions:
From Ridgecrest, travel 20 miles east on State Highway 178 to its intersection with Trona-Red Mountain Road. Continue east on Highway 178 for 7.7 miles, and access the site by a dirt road leading off Highway 178 to the south -- drive several more miles south until you see the pinnacles.
Hours:
Daylight, and when it's dry. (Call to verify)
Phone:
760-384-5400
Admission:
Free.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Fish RocksFish Rocks, Salt Wells Canyon, CA - 4 mi.
Living Ghost TownLiving Ghost Town, Randsburg, CA - 24 mi.
Ghost Town With Charles Manson TruckGhost Town With Charles Manson Truck, Ballarat, CA - 31 mi.
In the region:
Fast Food Fake Train Station, Barstow, CA - 55 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in California

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in California.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

August 23, 2017

My Sights

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Car Smashed By UFO, Warren, Minnesota (Aug 21-27, 2017)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Trona, California

Nightly rates found:

Book Online Now