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Intro

The Alabama Hills, nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada just west of Lone Pine, is one of Hollywood’s favorite filming locations. This monumental landscape provides a myriad of settings for movie backgrounds and evocative scenes. The beautiful rock formations of the hills bordered by a vast open plain rising majestically to the snow capped mountains beyond has been a prime filming location since the early 1900s.

Mobius Arch

The rounded contours of the Alabama Hills appear in stark contrast to the chiseled peaks of the Sierra Nevada and, although considered geographically a separate range of hills, they were formed at the same time and are geologically part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Percolating water rounded the granite blocks and sculpted the many outstanding formations of the Alabama Hills.

The Mobius Arch, the largest and most picturesquely situated of the many natural arches in the Alabama Hills, almost perfectly frames Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous USA. It is the result of chemical weathering when the hills were still covered with soil.

What Makes It Great

Trail Running in the Alabama Hills. Photo: Jim Purdum

The stunning rock formations with numerous roads and trails winding through the area are a great place for auto touring, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, trail running, horseback riding, fishing, and camping. Photographic opportunities abound and the Mobius Arch is a favorite place for picture taking. Sunsets are often astoundingly beautiful.

 

 

Although only a few miles from town this 30,000-acre protected area can give one the feeling of being ‘way out there.’ A campsite nestled among the rocks with awesome views of Mt. Whitney and the Sierra Nevada can provide hours of contemplative solitude or a great place for plein-air painting. A mountain bike ride on the rough and ready trails can be challenging and exciting. A ramble around the monoliths or scramble to the top yields ever-changing views.

Who Is Going to Love It

Camping in the Alabama Hills. Photo: Jim Purdum

The Alabama Hills is a great place for families – especially those that have different wants and needs. If grandma and grandpa want a leisurely drive or an easy chair in a quiet camping spot, while mom, dad and the kids go for a hike or bike ride, this is the place. Options for dispersed camping are plentiful to find your own spot for secluded tent camping or multi-family RV outings.

 

 

It’s only minutes from town and the Museum of Western Film History, where everyone can explore the museum’s extensive collection of real movie costumes, movie cars, props, posters, and other memorabilia. Then take a self guided tour (a brochure is available at the museum) of Movie Road in the Alabama Hills and get an up close view of the actual locations of so many pictures filmed here.

Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine

Best Season

Spring and fall are unbeatable in this high desert region with temperatures in the moderate range most days and nights. Summer days are hot and winter nights are cold, but each day of the year will offer special something for someone.

It’s vast. It’s safe. It’s inspirational. It’s a place where folks can enjoy a few hours, a day, or a weekend and each person can do just what makes them feel happiest.

Horseback riding in the Alabama Hills with McGee Creek Pack Station

Directions. Parking. Regulations.

From the heart of Lone Pine (a beautiful 60 minute drive south of Bishop) go west on Whitney Portal road then, 2.7 miles along, turn right onto Movie Flat road. Many dirt roads and trails intersect with Movie Flat road leading into the hills and among the boulders. Movie Flat road is a graded dirt road maintained for passenger vehicles. Other roads may be sandy and soft requiring 4-wheel drive capability.

Alabama Hill GuideVehicle and mountain bike use is restricted to existing roads and trails and dispersed camping must be done in obvious clearances. Don’t crush the brush!

There are no services or facilities on site and the nearest hospital is located in Lone Pine. Remember inclement weather can occur at any time and often rapidly. Be prepared with layers of protective clothing, a hat and sunscreen for the hot and sunny days. Always bring plenty of water with you.

The Alabama Hills Recreation Area is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and is a protected habitat for public enjoyment. For more information visit the BLM website or stop in at the Bishop Visitor Center, at 690 N. Main St in Bishop, for maps to this and other great local destinations.

 

Check out other local favorite destinations here.

 

Check out the Digital Bishop Visitor Guide!

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2 days ago

Launching into the weekend.... Happy Friday!!!
Photo by @amithsinsta
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
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Launching into the weekend.... Happy Friday!!!
Photo by @amithsinsta
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard

3 days ago

How amazing are the sunsets here? Check out this time-lapse video from a really stunning evening last week.
Thanks @leviaguilera_photography for capturing it and sharing!
#vistbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
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Comment on Facebook

Looks great but gas is $6.00 gallon down there

Amazing!

Beautiful view

Beautiful!

Gorgeous view! 💓❤😃

Lovely 💕

If that slice of California were annexed to Nevada, I’d be back in a heartbeat.

I miss those sunsets

Jan Schray

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4 days ago

Sometimes a little dirt is good for the soul 😊
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
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Sometimes a little dirt is good for the soul 😊
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard

Comment on Facebook

Wow. The snow looks like it's melting already.

Wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve been up or down that road! Looks like The dirt section of Warm Springs Road.

Beautiful view

Beautiful

I like the movie flats place down by Lone Pine!

Beautiful

On my bucket list

Will always be home for me. Thanks for the awesome pic.

Love this dirt!

I wanna go fishing

Breathtaking👍💝😀

What road is that?

I love this view! 😀😃☺

Dirt therapy... good for the soul.

I miss Bishop!!

Be there in 2 weeks!

Miss that so much

Always 💚

Everytime we go we find one

👍👍👍

Buttermilk road

HOME 😎

Amen!

Richard Szoltysik

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5 days ago

Not a bad view!!!
Thanks for sharing, @jamieclimber!!
#visitbisop #bishopBIGbackyard
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Not a bad view!!!
Thanks for sharing, @jamieclimber!!
#visitbisop #bishopBIGbackyard

Comment on Facebook

Superb view!

Love the hot springs outside of bishop

Good view except for the feet

Awesome picture

I cannot describe how much I love this picture.

Amazing

Wow

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6 days ago

Good morning from Bishop!
Thank you, @binggram101 for the photo!
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
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Good morning from Bishop!
Thank you, @binggram101 for the photo!
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard

Comment on Facebook

Looks like a superb morning!

Nice but hopefully more snow!

I grew up in Tehachapi camped and fished there and Mammoth Lakes Beautiful country.

Beautiful. I wish I was there.

Beautiful country

Amazing! Can't wait to visit!

My favorite view

Beautiful picture

Loved fishing this river!

Absolutely stunning lighting and composition

Beautiful

Wonderful.

Beautiful!

Awesome

Beautiful.

Looks like Owens River fished there. BEAUTIFUL

Very pretty

Now, that is a real pretty picture. Great way to start the week. Thanks.

Absolutely DIVINE place. Wish I could buy a home there. oac

Wow! We see so much of Yosemite here in Fresno that we often forget that there are other awesome mountains elsewhere in California! I’m going to Bishop in March no matter what! A beautiful place! 👍

My Dad loved to fish out there. We always had to go with him and did not appreciate being out in the middle of no where as young kids. Now I understand the beauty and serenity he found there.

Love the Lower Owens, Great wild brown trout water in the winter!! Also illuminated sunsets that will make you stop and take a moment.

Nice

Very beautiful picture

Beautiful

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