Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Trona, CA - DesertUSA

Trona, CA - DesertUSA

Throne, home to Searles Lake beach, is located in the Searles Valley on Hwy 178 in the Greater Mojave Desert. Searles Lake is one of a chain of pleistocene lakes which were formed during the Ice Ages. The dry lake bed contains the plethora of sodium and potassium minerals of the carbonate, sulfate, borate and halide classes, due to long sedimentation and evaporation processes which occurred over a period of about 150,000 years.

The dry lake also contains the Pinnacles National Highland Natural Landmark which consists of more then 500 tufa spiers. Trona Pinnacles has been the site of many movies and commercials because of its prehistoric mystical appeal. Star Trek 5, Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, and Disney's Dinosaur all contain scenes filmed at the Trona Pinnacles tufas.

The Trona area offers hiking and sightseeing, or historical sites around town such as the History House (one of the oldest residential houses in Trona) built around 1920. You can also go see the Trona Railway Museum and Caboose, the Old Guest House Museum, and the 1924 Struz Fire Truck and 1938 Ahrens-Fox Fire Truck, both housed at the Argus Fire Station.

Trona can be a starting point for those who plan on seeing some of the other points of interest that Searles Valley has to offer, with gas, food and lodging available in town. It has valley views of the Slate and Argus Mountains.

ANNUAL GEM-O-RAMA October - Sponsored by the Searles Lake Gem & Population / Elevation

Population 1885

As of 2001 census Elev 1675

Weather / Climate

The climate is characterized by hot days and cool nights, with extreme arid conditions prevailing Throughout the summer months.

Trona, California - Monthly Climate Normals











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Trona, CA - DesertUSA


High ° F



There are no hotels available for Ridgecrest at all.

Camping & amp; RV Parks Death Valley National Park : There are 9 campgrounds within Death Valley NP.


Lodging Pinnacle Inn, Finn Line, Tra's Drive Inn, Deb's Fine Dining Gas : Texaco (which also has a store) > Rest area resides inside the town of Trona which offers modern facilities, tables, water, trash collection. In 1862 John W. Searles discovered Borax on the dry barren surface of Searles Lake while prospecting for gold and silver with three other people in the slate mountain range.

But his discovery went unrecognized.
After seeing Francis (Borax) Smith's operation of Borax recovery in Nevada in 1872, Mr. Searles realized the value of what he had discovered at Searles Lake. In 1873 John W. Searles staked the claim to 640 acres of lake and formed The San Bernardino Borax Mining Company. Mules were used to haul the Borax to San Pedro.

Today one of Trona's main sources of income is still mining operations. On March 18, 2004, all operations of IMC Chemicals were sold to Sun Capital Investments and the operations in Searles Valley were renamed "Searles Valley Minerals, Inc." The small desert town of Trona holds a lot of history and offers modern living at an affordable price. Over the years it has not only preserved its history, it has also grown and changed with the times.

Video on the Pinnacles Highchair National Natural Landmark

Things To Do

ANNUAL GEM-O-RAMA October Sponsored by the Searles Lake Gem & Mineral Society Salt Wells Canyon - Commonly called "Poison Canyon." This canyon was the route of the 20-mule teams that hauled borax from Searles Lake to San Pedro. On the north side of the canyon near the east end is "Fish Head Rocks". Originally called "Whale Heads." Pinnacles High School National Natural Landmark Strong> Located 12 miles south of Trona on Hwy 178.

Resources & amp; Nearby Attractions


Cities & amp; Towns

Barstow, California : 110 miles southeast. Inyokern, California: 42 miles west. Bishop, California : 130 miles north. Big Pine, California : 115 miles north. Lone Pine, California : 80 miles north.

Parks & amp; Monuments

Wilderness & amp; Recreation Areas

Historic & amp; Points of Interest

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