Trona Pinnacles at Night
I'd been wanting to do some night photography at Trona Pinnacles for a while now and finally made it out there last weekend. With the moon close to full it wasn't the best timing for dark skies but it was great for moonlight on the surreal rock formations. If you have a high-clearance vehicle you can get out beyond the main grouping to the younger Northern Group further out in the Searles Dry Lake Bed (where there are no other people!), an incredible beautiful place to spend the night, then take the trails out to Ridgecrest or Red Mountain.
These ancient spires once known as Cathedral City are tufa (calcium carbonate) towers formed formed underwater more than 100,000 years ago when the surrounding area was at the bottom of Searles Lake, part of a chain of lakes that once stretched from Death Valley to Mono Lake. They are the same as the tufa found at Mono Lake, California.
If the landscape looks strangely familiar, it might be because many science fiction movies were filmed here, including Planet of the Apes, Lost in Space, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek v: The Final Frontier and others.
I still have a couple hundred shots to work through. This trip was back to back with a Salton Sea trip so I think I might take advantage of the coming storm to get caught up on my processing!
Jupiter and Tufa Towers, Trona Pinnacles