The Trona Pinnacles is one of the most unusual geological features in the California Desert Conservation Area. The unusual landscape consists of more than 500 tufa spires, some as high as 140 feet, rising from the bed of the Searles Lake. The pinnacles vary in size and shape from short and squat to tall and thin, and are composed primarily of calcium carbonate (tufa) that formed underwater. They now sit isolated and slowly crumbling away near the south end of the valley, surrounded by many square miles of flat, dried mud and with stark mountain ranges at either side.
Wild Burros ridgecrest 85 A field of California Poppies and other widflowers Desert Tortoise Wild Horses
BLM>California>Ridgecrest>Last Chance Canyon
Print Page
Ridgecrest Field Office

Last Chance Canyon

AREA DESCRIPTION: Located in the El Paso Mountains, Last Chance Canyon extends from Black Mountain on the north to the town of Saltdale at the south. The area is significant because of the large number and diversity of archaeological sites. These sites include villages, temporary camps, rock art sites, lithic scatters, milling stations, quarries, cremations, and rock shelters. The area also contains numerous historic sites.

Last Chance Canyon is a very colorful, scenic region resulting from a mixture of differing sediments and volcanic rock strata. The strata has been exposed through uplifting along the El Paso fault which created the El Paso Range. There are several interesting 4-wheel drive routes available for both challenge and recreational sightseeing.

A portion of the canyon is inside the Red Rock State Park. Please obey all signs while inside the park area.

Historical and archaeological sites are protected by law as public resources. Destruction, possession or theft of these resources are in violation of both Federal and state laws.

WHAT TO DO: Hiking, photography, 4-wheeling, walking and camping are a few recreational opportunities to be enjoyed by the visitor.

GETTING THERE: Take SR 14 to Red Rock-Randsburg Rd. to Garlock Rd. to EP80 or EP100. Another way is take SR 14 to Red Rock-Inyokern Rd. to Hart Rd. (EP155 to EP80). These routes are recommended for a high clearance vehicle and 4-wheel drive.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: "Wilderness", "Closed Road" or "Closed Route" signs are placed at various intervals to inform the traveler to maintain a designated route during their trip.

The BLM encourages all desert recreationists and travelers exploring public lands, not only within southern California but throughout the west to use a propylene glycol based antifreeze/coolant in their touring and recreation vehicles. proven safer, it will have minimal impacts on both the wildlife and the environment should a leak occur.

Removal, disturbance, or attempting to remove archaeological materials is a felony. Selling, receiving, purchasing, transporting, exchanging, or offering to do so is prohibited by law.

Private lands may be located in this area, please respect the owner and do not u se these lands with permission.

CAMPING: Camping is permitted, limited to 14 days. After 14 days, campers must relocate at least 25 miles from previous site.

Help BLM preserve California's fragile deserts. Please park your vehicle or se up camp in previously disturbed sites.

Gathering wood for campfires, when permitted, is limited to dead and down materials. Live vegetation can not be cut.

Practice Leave No Trace Principles:

Plan Ahead and Prepare Camp and Travel on Durable Surfaces Pack It In Pack It Out Properly Dispose of What You Can't Pack Out Leave What You Find Minimize Use and Impact of Fires

MAP INFORMATION: Desert Access Guides that may be of help are: Cuddeback Lake and Ridgecrest.