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May 30, 2018 - Today we took another long drive deep into the Mojave Desert.  Our destination was in Trona, CA to see the Trona Pinnacles.  Also known as tufa pinnacles, these strange shapes formed underwater some 10,000 to 100,000 years ago.  This portion of the Searles Dry Lakebed is at the bottom of a long ago glacial lake.  There are over 500 pinnacles here and they are composed primarily of calcium carbonate.  The pinnacles are at an elevation of 1800 feet above sea level in the western Mojave Desert.  Because of their unique shapes, this location has been a favorite locale for science fiction movies, including the original Planet of the Apes and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

The Trona Pinnacles were designated as a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1968 to preserve one of North America's most outstanding examples of tufa tower formation.

Before I took this picture, a Navy jet fighter flew about 100 feet overhead, going a couple hundred miles per hour and the pilot tipped his wings as he past.  We got buzzed!  The China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station is right next door.

It is truly a unique and memorable landscape.

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Last modified: January 01, 2024