Desert Trails

 

Lone Pine, California
Sierra Nevada & Alabama Hills

Rise and shine, and return to the Alabama Hills for some great sightseeing. Turn on Whitney Portal Road (at the town's only stoplight) and head for the hills. Watch for Movie Road to turn off to the right. The dirt trail branches off to dozens of parking areas, where you can explore different rock outcroppings.

Before leaving your hotel, ask the front desk for a free guide to movie locations in the Alabama Hills. Many old westerns, including the Lone Ranger shows, were shot amongst the rounded granite boulders, with the breathtaking Whitney Range in the background.

This is one of my favorite photos of the Alabama Hills & Sierra Nevada. I took it from one of the highest outcroppings in the Alabama Hills.  

During your visit to the Alabama Hills, look for the highest outcropping, then drive towards it. You can park about halfway up the hill, and climb the rest of the way up the slope. The reward is a great view of the Alabama Hills and Sierra Nevada, along with all the dirt roads in between.

Did you realize, in addition to many westerns, the Flintstones was also filmed here?

Look for a few wildflowers clinging to the hard rock surface.

Travel all the way to the end of Movie Road, and you'll reach the end of the Alabama Hills land, managed by the BLM. You'll also reach the intersection with another road. Take a left turn and you'll wind your way back to the base of Whitney Portal Road.

This is an excellent place to pick a scented souvenir of your trip. Sagebrush thrives at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. Break off a few twigs and place them in a plastic bag. Months after you return home, you'll be able to crush a twig and enjoy the western aroma. If you make the same mistake I did, and don't pick your souvenir here, it's unlikely you'll find it anywhere else on this trip.

Once you've made your way back to the base of Whitney Portal Road, you'll find this trail, and a good view of the Whitney Range.

You can spend more time driving around the Alabama Hills, but tonight's destination is still hours away, so don't kill too much time. When you're ready to hit the road, head south on US Rte. 395.

 

Lone Pine & Alabama Hills

Fossil Falls

 

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