Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California | Camping

Alabama Hills with Sierra Nevada Mountains in background

Camping in the Alabama Hills is like living in a science fiction movie or western. The wildly shaped granite gives the hills an otherworldly feel, and the towering Sierra Nevada Mountain peaks look familiar, as I’ve no doubt seen them in countless westerns.

The Alabama Hills are located in the remote Eastern Sierra, just west of Lone Pine, California and east of Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States. Badwater (the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level) is just 70 miles to the southeast. It goes without saying that this is a land of extremes.

The unique beauty of the Alabama Hills is captivating. It seems everywhere you turn there’s a surprise with another one-of-a-kind sculpture carved into the rock.

There are several natural arches. Mobius Arch Trail is a must-do for a look at this most impressive arch. Many trails weave through the hills, and the sandy washes are perfect for getting a close up view of these golden granite boulders. Take your time and let your mind run wild in this fantasy land.

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Where in The World?

The Alabama Hills are on BLM land and there are dozens of campsites in the area. This is public land and dispersed camping is free.

Camping Elevation: 4,600 feet

GPS Coordinates: N 36 36.401 W 118 07.404

Directions to Camping Area: From Lone Pine, California head west on Whitney Portal Road for 2.7 miles and turn right (north) on Movie Road. You’ll find many campsites along the roads that branch from Movie Road. Many of these campsites are in the Movie Flats area, which is within the first 1 1/2 miles of Movie Road. Most roads are suitable for sedans and RVs; however, some roads are steep and rocky. It’s always a good idea to scout out the area first, before bringing in the RV.

Alabama Hills Camping Area Map

Alabama Hills RV Camping Journal

May 29, 2013

My campsite has a commanding view of both the Alabama Hills and the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains, with a front row seat to Mount Whitney and Lone Pine Peak. There are dozens of other fantastic campsites in the Alabama Hills with superb views in every direction.

Recreation: Exploring the Alabama Hills is the thing to do here. And if you wish to reach the heights of the world (almost), you can do that too. Just head up Whitney Portal Road where you can hike into the heavenly Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Weather: Here in late May, the weather has been perfect. There were very few clouds, and the clouds that did appear were in the mountain tops or just above them. They rarely crossed over the peaks and above Owens Valley. There is almost always a breeze, which picks up in the afternoons. It was never extremely windy. Highs were in the 70s and 80s and lows were in the 50s.

Wildlife: There was a large coyote crossing Whitney Portal Road near Lone Pine Campground. I saw turkey vultures, eagles, ground squirrels, tree squirrels, small and large lizards, a variety of birds, jackrabbits, ravens, hawks, zebra-tailed lizards, and short horned lizards.

Insects: Gnats would become a slight nuisance when there was a calm breeze. They didn’t bite, but just swarmed around me, most noticeably and annoyingly by my ears.

Peacefulness: It’s very peaceful, even if it is a bit of a tourist attraction. Usually the only sound is the breeze through the hills, and the occasional dust devil. Air traffic is light, with only a few military jets now and then.

RV Solar: Super, there’s plenty of sun, which seems even more intense at this higher elevation.

Cell Signal: I had no Verizon cell phone signal at my campsite. I was able to get a weak signal when I climbed up into the hills. Verizon mobile broadband internet worked with the external antenna placed on my roof, but it was very slow National Access service.

Campsite Rating: 10 out of 10. The scenery takes the cake here! Nothing else matters. But everything else was perfect too, except no cell signal. Oh well, give technology a break, it’s good for you!

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