As you head north on California Hwy 395 from Ridgecrest the mountainous scenery becomes more beautiful with every mile you drive. The Sierra Nevada mountain range is to the west and the Panamint range is to the east and they both provide a beautiful backdrop for cruising.
About 4.5 miles west of Lone Pine, California is Movie Rd, the entrance to the Alabama Hills BLM. A breathtakingly beautiful array of mountain vistas, rock formations, and hills. Not only a boondockers paradise but a hikers paradise too! A great way to spend a few days or more in the great outdoors.
The Lone Pine area, along with much of the eastern Sierra Nevada, has been used for movie and TV filming over the years. The rugged terrain, hills, mountains, and easy access to Los Angeles have made a perfect location for moving making since the early 1920’s. The area has a web of many, many trails that were cut into the landscape years ago to allow for ease of movement of film crew and vehicles. There are lots of roads and only a few areas where you can pull off and camp for awhile but keep looking and you will find a gem. Since the area has been so beaten over the years with thousands and thousands of film crew, the locals are trying to restore many areas and ask that you kindly do not damage any plants. Be careful if you drive some of the narrow roads with a big rig.
Many of the “perfect” sites were taken but as we drove around we found the perfect site to park, protected by rocks on one side and fabulous views all around. Not another vehicle in site. This site, which we now refer to as the “Rawhide” site, was used to film a scene in the 1951 Rawhide movie. It was the scene about 25 minutes into the movie where the main stars are burying Sam Todd who was shot in the back. Kind of creepy and kind of cool!
Campground: Alabama Hills BLM
Location: Lone Pine, California
Site: NA (AKA Rawhide site)
Services: dry camping
Comments: A perfectly beautiful location for boondocking with some great hiking opportunities.
The Mobius Arch Trailhead was very close to our “Rawhide” site so it eas very easy to access the trail and get to view Mt. Whitney through the arch!
With the town of Lone Pine being so close to the BLM area it is perfect for shopping and/or sightseeing. We were lucky enough to be there during Whitney Portal Rd (the road leading to Alabama Hills BLM entrance) maintenance work both to the east of the BLM entrance and to the west of the BLM entrance. Delays each way were up to 30 minutes. In one day we spent over 2 hours in the delays. This meant we decided to keep our runs to town pretty infrequent!
Lone Pine is a cute town with the basic amenities and a fun Film Museum which is great fun to visit.
A fabulous area to camp and enjoy the views!