Alabama Hills and Movie Road
Updated: May 18, 2022
Movie Road is located in the Alabama Hills off Whitney Portal Road, just outside of Lone Pine, CA. The road is named for the numerous westerns and other movies that have been filmed in the area over the years. You can see a list of them here here. When you stop in at a place like the Mount Whitney Restaurant in Lone Pine the walls are full of memorabilia from the movies, with many posters signed by the actors and actresses. The road is not difficult, it's a well maintained gravel road with some washboard and an occasional rock sticking up. Almost any vehicle could travel this road, with lower vehicles and those with highway tires needing to use more caution to avoid tire damage.
What did I learn?
This is a BUSY place for dispersed camping. We were through pretty early in the morning and almost every single spot you could pull off and park your trailer, adventure van, or pitch a tent had someone camping in it. I can only imagine what it's like on a holiday weekend or mid-summer! What where you step, there weren't a lot of port-o-potties out there and many of the campers didn't appear to have bathroom facilities in their setups
This image gives you a feel for the terrain. If you study up old on movies like How The West Was Won, and some iconic scenes from the Lone Ranger series, you could recognize rocks, nooks, and canyons in the area.
The Mobius Arch. The arches are a short walk from Movie Road, and worth a stop. There are more well-known structures and rock art in the area but we were moving along on our way back from Death Valley, so we only hit the highlights.
The Lathe Arch. If we had stuck around for the clouds to lift off Mount Whitney (the ridge in the distance), we would have had a wonderful view of the highest peak in the lower 48 states.