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
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Nadeau National Recreation Trail

Nadeau Trail

National Recreation Trail logoThe Nadeau Trail has been designated as a National Recreation Trail!

Situated along the eastern edge of the Argus Wilderness Range 5 miles east of Darwin, CA and 25 miles northeast of Ridgecrest, CA, the Nadeau Trail provides motorized access through western Panamint Valley and ties in with cherry-stems and spurs leading to OHV, wilderness hiking, and packing opportunities. 

For a Nadeau Trail location map click here.

The Nadeau Trail has a fascinating history, from a place of geologic unrest and prehistoric petroglyphs to acting as the main corridor for Remi Nadeau’s freight wagons loaded with silver lead ingots headed down to Los Angeles in the 1800’s. History seekers, cultural explorers, and desert recreationists have an unlimited number of possible stops along the trail.

National Recreation Trail Designation

National recreation trails recognize existing trails that connect people to local resources and improve their quality of life. They may be designated by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture to recognize exemplary trails of local and regional significance in response to an application from the trail's managing agency or organization. Through designation, these trails are recognized as part of America's national system of trails.

Designating the Nadeau Trail a National Recreation Trail (NRT) is an investment in the surrounding communities and our public lands that encourages outdoor activity and connects people of all ages and backgrounds to the environment. The NRT designation affirms the unique local and regional significance of the Nadeau Trail and promotes public use and care.  An NRT designation will increase the national visibility of the trail and enhance access to future technical assistance and funding programs.