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Night Photography on the Road to Trona

San Bernardino County, California

based on 2 reviews


Added by Zach Rogers

The road leading to the Trona Pinnacles offers beautiful scenery with amazing landscapes and dark night skies. The combination of all of these creates great photo opportunities.

The town of Trona is very small but the landscape here is definitely one you shouldn't miss out on seeing. These crazy tufa formations were formed underwater before Searles Lake dried up many years ago. Amazingly, they are still standing tall! Very tall in fact, you can see how they've dwarfed my Grand Prix in one of my shots.

You might hear that the road is unmanageable without a 4-wheel drive, but I've made the trip several times now with my Pontiac. Just take it slow so you don't blow a tire. Not many people visit the Pinnacles, so you would be waiting a while for help!

After you've made it out to the Trona Pinnacles you can pretty much hike around anywhere to find a good composition, there is a lot of opportunity. If you can, stick around for some Milky Way shots as well because it shines pretty bright here!

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Night Photography on the Road to Trona Reviews

Take the road slow to avoid punctures and kicking up dust. I brought spare water for both the daytime heat and the radiator. Don't leave the road without basic repair tools, as cell reception does not exist, and it's a hot, dry walk to the nearest road. When you get hungry, swing through Ridgecrest, and stop by Casey's Steaks & BBQ. It's not divey, so it won't be packed with angry soldiers off the base. Get their trip-tip special as a treat at the end of a long day in the dry heat!

Google Maps shows Pinnacles Road coming up to the Pinnacles from Randsburg Wash Road to the south. It does go through, but you need much higher clearance vehicle to come in this way than from the north. There's a rough, rocky hill about a half mile south of the Pinnacles if you come in from Randsburg Wash.

The Pinnacles really do offer some fantastic photo opportunities! Such a fascinating landscape and easily accessible.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Trona Pinnacles OHV Route

Trona Pinnacles

Five Fingers Trail

Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway

Off-Road to McIver's Cabin

Fossil Falls Trail