Trona Pinnacles

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Updated November 24, 2018
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If you follow us on Instagram, you may have seen some of the amazing places we have been able to visit recently. After all the truck mess in Stockton, we ended up heading out to the Trona Pinnacles! We needed time to rest, recuperate, and hunker down to get some much needed work done and Trona Pinnacles fit the bill. Secluded, quiet, crazy awesome views, and great cell signal. Yes, please!

We arrived to the entrance of the pinnacles and we knew we were in for a long drive. It’s a good 5/6 miles on a crazy washboard road. With an average speed of about 5 to 8 miles per hour, we made it out with the Airstream in tow in about 45 minutes! 

We dropped the Airstream at the parking lot at the base of the pinnacles near the pit toilets in order to go scout out the perfect place for us to spend the week, and boy did we find it!

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The weather was so perfect. Mid 70’s, light breeze, and just chilly enough at night for a warm blanket. We didn’t even need to turn on our heater at night!

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We love finding places that are so unique and especially places that we can walk out our door and go explore for hours without needing to drive anywhere!

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We spent a lot of time exploring the dry lake bed, imagining what it would have been like when water filled this area. This place reminded us a lot of one of our favorite places, Mono Lake. These pinnacles are basically just enormous tufas like the ones at Mono Lake, but way bigger.

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We all had so much fun climbing to the top at sunset. If you look closely, you can see some of the kids and Jonathan at the top!

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Our Instagram friends, @upintherooftop, were close by and decided to come hang out with us for a few days. It’s so awesome when your friends online become real life friends. Sometimes it just works. Our families clicked and it felt like we were just catching up with long lost friends. 

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We got to spend several days together talking about anything and everything. It's always so good when you get to spend time with people that truly understand why you're choosing this lifestyle. Not everyone gets it :)

We were so thankful they ended up coming out too, because when we tried to start our truck to go into town, it wouldn’t start…again. We tried to jump it with their van…nothing. (look at how they match...haha)

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Thankfully Paul was able to take Jonathan into town with our two truck batteries and get them charged back up at a shop. We have GOT to figure out why this keeps happening! 

We were able to get the truck to start the next day and take it back to the shop where we were told we needed a new alternator…

Why not! I feel like we’ve replaced just about everything else at this point..let’s see if that fixes our problem. 

It seemed to be working great, but alas…this did not fix the problem. It's a long story of mechanic after mechanic and rental cars, but more on that later...

Anyway, back to the Trona. We were able to explore these super cool rocks people have named ‘fish head rocks’ which is just outside of the pinnacles.

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Jonathan and the kids had fun climbing them. Rock scrambling seems to be one of their favorite things now. I love that they love it, but I think it takes years off of this momma’s life.

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I seriously debated about not writing about our time at the Trona Pinnacles because I don’t want it to become a busy place. Maybe the crazy road out there will detour some people from going out there.

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It’s one of the cleanest BLM lands we have been to and we really don’t want that to change. So, if you want to camp there, PLEASE don’t trash it! Pack it in, pack it out so everyone can have the same beautiful experience that we had.

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While there, I really wanted to see if I could figure out a little bit of night photography. We tried all sorts of lighting, timers, and shutter speeds.

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There were a few fairly decent shots but I was not able to capture what I had envisioned. Maybe next time :)

If you find your self near Trona, I highly suggest you make the drive out to the pinnacles. If not to camp, at least go and climb around and explore the area. Would make for a fantastic day trip if you’re not willing to subject your rig to the treacherous road. It was rough, but we’ve been on worse!

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It’s easy in my top 5 favorites of all the places we have been. Totally worth the effort to get our Airstream back there. While 4 wheel drive would be great to have in order to get here, I think you’d be fine without it. Just take it slow, like…painfully slow, and enjoy the solitude!


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Ashley Longnecker

About the Author

Ashley Longnecker is the fiercely independent tattooed and dreaded half of Tiny Shiny Home. She's a woodworker, photographer and maker of delicious baked goods. She loathes schedules and makes every day an adventure.

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Posted December 08, 2017

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