The pinnacles are recognized as a National Natural Landmark and are reached by CA 178, a connecting road between US 395 and CA 190, which leads into Death Valley 40 miles after Trona
. This small town is the nearest settlement to the pinnacles and contains a strange mixture of run-down shacks, elegant modern dwellings and sprawling chemical works - a large area of the valley nearby is used for extraction of salt and a variety of other minerals. The turn off to the NNL is a few miles south, along a signposted dirt/gravel track that is rather severely graded in a few places but mostly ok, except after heavy rain. This wide road leaves CA 178 to the south, crosses a railway line then follows it for 4 miles to the edge of the formations. Several side tracks branch off around and between the cluster of rocks, and one continues, across the Spangler Hills
and meeting a main road again a few miles further.
The spires are quite obvious even when seen from the highway and look intriguing from afar - a long line of sharp points that seem quite alien in the otherwise dead flat dry lake bed. There is one main group, a smaller collection a short distance east, then others further east, beyond a wide dry wash - total extent is about one mile. They are perhaps best viewed from a distance as up close the mounds are dusty and weathered with rather drab colors, though walking around is interesting enough, and the pale, low relief badlands to the south are worth exploring too. Sunsets are particularly pretty, especially viewed from the top of the small hilly area to the south, when the towers glow orange-yellow and are etched against the gaunt hills of the Slate Range
at the eastern edge of the valley. Beyond, the Panamint Mountains rise higher still, topped by 11,000 feet Telescope Peak.
The pinnacles of the National Natural Landmark have some similarities to those at Pinnacles National Park
, an otherwise unconnected site set in wooded, hilly land near Salinas, close to California's Pacific Coast.