The Alabama Hills is a National Recreation Area managed by the BLM just north of Lone Pine, California. It is a land of potato shaped boulders and myriad arches. Over 400 movies and TV shows have been shot in the Alabama Hills. Mount Whitney is just to the west of Alabama Hills and towers almost 10,000 feet above the hills. Many of the Alabama Hills arches frame Mount Whitney and Lone Pine Peak, also to the west.
Mobius Arch is the most famous of the Alabama Hills arches. The arch is best shot at sunrise when its best side is lit and it frames the alpenglow on Mount Whitney and Lone Pine Peak. You are likely to see other photographers at Mobius as well, even at sunrise, and the best area for shooting is small, so get there early, especially on weekends. Getting to Mobius Arch requires a short .25 mile hike over an easy trail. Lathe arch is just to the southwest of Mobius Arch and is best at sunrise as well.
The high desert of Lone Pine is best visited during the Spring or Fall though winters are reasonable as well with daytime highs in the mid fifties. Summers are hot and crowded and should generally be avoided unless you are planning to climb Mount Whitney. For me the best time of the year to visit is during November when the cottonwood trees are changing color, the yellow of the trees contrasts nicely with the darkly colored boulders and arches.
Most visitors combine trips to the Alabama Hills with:
Here is climate data for the town of Independence, the nearest town to Lone Pine with good historical weather information:
To view the map larger please click on the box in the upper right corner of the map.
Alabama Hills is covered by the Lone Pine, Manzanaro, Mount Langley, and Union Wash maps. A merge of these four maps is available below. The Lone Pine geotiff on both Topoquest and libremap.org is corrupt so I downloaded the geopdf from the USGS National Map Server and converted it to a geotiff. All four maps above and the merge map can be downloaded in a variety of formats by clicking or right clicking below.
|Geo Tiff/Avenza||KMZ||Oruxmaps||KMZ Decollared||Oruxmap Decollared||Avenza Decollared|
|Lone Pine||KMZ||Oruxmap||KMZ Decollared||Oruxmap Decollared||Avenza Decollared|
|Manzanaro||KMZ||Oruxmap||KMZ Decollared||Oruxmap Decollared||Avenza Decollared|
|Mount Langley||KMZ||Oruxmap||KMZ Decollared||Oruxmap Decollared||Avenza Decollared|
|Union Wash||KMZ||Oruxmap||KMZ Decollared||Oruxmap Decollared||Avenza Decollared|
|Merge of all four maps||NA||NA||KMZ Decollared||Oruxmap Decollared||Avenza Decollared|