Trona Searles Dry Lake Gem Show
Once a year out in the middle of the Southern California desert the Searles Dry Lake & Mineral Society holds its Gem-O-Rama in the town of Trona.
The second weekend in October Searles Dry Lake is open to the public for guided field trips. Cost is only ten bucks for each outing, they are best suited for mineral collectors although anyone is welcome join in.
Visitors will drive their own vehicle to the collection areas and provide all gear (gloves, boots, shovel, bucket, etc.)
Field Collection trips include Mud Trip, Blowhole, Pink Halite, Pinnacles National Natural Landmark (free) and Searles Valley Minerals factory tours on Saturday with free bus from the gem show.
Trona Gem-O-Rama Activities: Gem dealers, exhibits, Geode cutting, and demonstrations. Parking and show: free admission.
In the 1870s before the railroad was built the famous 20 mule team wagons hauled Borax from Searles Dry Lake 175 miles to the harbor at San Pedro. Today minerals are processed at nearby factories and hauled out of the valley by rail car.
Trona Pinnacles Searles Dry Lake have been used as a backdrop for several movies including Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Planet of the Apes.
This event is definitely not for everyone, its about a three hour drive from Los Angeles, but if you’re willing to make the journey you will be rewarded with a chance to collect salt crystals including Pink Halite.
When: Second weekend October. Directions: State Highway 14 north to Lancaster and Mojave. East State Highway 178 toward Ridgecrest. East on SR 178 to Trona. 170 miles from Los Angeles.