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Searles Lake
This is a dry lake, meaning that there is little or no water most of the time. However, during the thaw of the last ice age, over a dozen millennia ago, this was the catching basin for some of the glacial melt in the near by Sierra Nevada’s. The lake was teaming with life including snails, clams, and algae. The lake was also being fed internally through a series of under-lake springs. It is this combination of algae, spring fed water and runoff water that caused unusual columns to form. As the lake evaporated the minerals in the lake became more concentrated these columns became bigger and thicker. Now that the lake is dry you can see these columns in the lake bed. They are called tufa towers, and are delicate calcium-carbonate rock forms. There are several hundred here in Searles Lake and this is a national landmark. Because of their delicate nature, Please do not climb or molest them in any way. There are so many clam and snail fossils in the Poison Canyon area. You can get directions to the Poison Canyon in Trona the near by town.

Getting There-
Las Vegas to Searles Lake

Take I-15 south to California State route 58 west. Travel C-58 to US-395 north (right at intersection). Take US-395 to Trona Rd north (right after Red Mountain). Follow Trona Rd as it turns into C-178 and continue north (right).

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Last revised:March 10, 2004

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