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.
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El Paso Mountains Wilderness


Hikers descend from a high point in the El Paso Mountains Wilderness Area
El Paso Mountains Wilderness

Location: Kern County; 6 miles southwest of Ridgecrest, California (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)

Outline of the State of California, that points the location for the El Paso Mountains WildernessArea Description: 23,669 acres. Numerous reddish-colored buttes and dark, uplifted volcanic mesas dissected by narrow canyons distinguish this wilderness. Badlands topography surrounds Black Mountain, the central feature of this wilderness. The most spectacular attribute of this area is the abundance of cultural sites. The southern portion of the wilderness is included in the Last Chance Archaeological District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Wildlife includes raptors, Mojave ground squirrel and the desert tortoise. Vegetation primarily consists of creosote bush scrub community with Joshua trees on the western side of the mountain.

Getting There:  Access this wilderness via State Highway 14 north of Red Rock Canyon ACCESS: State Park and along Red Rock-Inyokern Road along the west; Hart Road (EP155 - four wheel drive only) along the south; and from the east via U.S. Highway 395 south of Inyokern, along EP18 to Sheep Springs Road (EP26 - four wheel drive recommended). Visitors should check road conditions before driving to the area.

Nonfederal Lands: Private lands may lie within the wilderness area. Please respect the owner and do not use these lands without permission.

Additional Information: Signs indicating "Wilderness" and "Closed Road" or "Closed Route" are placed at various intervals. Vehicles can be parked outside the wilderness boundary; however, the boundary is set back 30 feet from unmaintained dirt roads and 300 feet on paved roads.

Mechanized or motorized vehicles are NOT PERMITTED in a wilderness.

Hunting, fishing, and non-commercial trapping are allowed under state and local laws.

Pet are allowed, but please keep your pets under control at all times.

Horses are permitted, however you may be required to carry feed.

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

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 set up camp in previously disturbed sites.

Gathering wood for campfires, when permitted, is limited to dead and down materials. Do not cut live vegetation.

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


El Paso Mountains Wilderness

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Bureau of Land Management
Ridgecrest Field Office
300 S. Richmond Rd.
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
Phone: (760) 384-5400
Fax: (760) 384-5499
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