Trona Pinnacles Trail

Ridgecrest, California 93556

Trona Pinnacles Trail

Trona Pinnacles Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"As you approach the Trona Pinnacles, you may find that they look familiar. This surreal landscape of gray spires and rocky pinnacles has been used as the setting for the alien planetscape in many science fiction films. The well-marked graded road heads off from California 178, south of the borax town of Trona. The road is dusty as it leads directly toward the pinnacles, which are visible a few miles away. There is a network of small tracks around the pinnacles that lead off from the main trail. The entire pinnacles area is best avoided when wet, because it can turn into a quagmire that will impound the most capable of vehicles. There are no official campgrounds here, but primitive camping is permitted. Special Attractions: Trona Pinnacles; Spangler Hills OHV Area. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs."

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

California Desert Byways (Wilderness Press)
Tony Huegel
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"Trona Pinnacles National Natural Landmark encompasses one of the most outstanding collections of tufa towers (calcium carbonate deposits) in the United States. You may even get to watch a sci-fi film being made at this popular movie backdrop."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
2 hours
Year-round; best October to May
1,600 feet
Trailhead Elevation
3,900 feet
Top Elevation
USGS Westend, Spangler Hills East, West of Black Hills, Klinker Mt., Ridgecrest, Cuddeback Lake
Local Maps

Trail Log