Alabama Hills

Overview:

The Alabama Hills represent one of the most premier locations for van and RV nomads. The hills attract thousands of nomads every year to camp among the beautiful rock formations. The hills are located at the base of Mt. Whitney and are operated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). You are allowed to boondock here for up to 14 days.

Adventure:

Boondocking in the Alabama Hill is probably one of my most favorite activities to do each year. The hills are located 2.5 miles west of the town of Lone Pine in the eastern Sierra Mountains. 

The Alabama Hills are a formation of rounded rocks and eroded hills set between the Sierra Nevada’s jagged peaks and the geologically complex Inyo Mountains. Both geologic features were shaped by the same uplifting occurring 100 million years ago.

You can do a variety of activities while in the Alabama Hills to include photography, rock climbing, exploring natural arches, and viewing the wildlife. My favorite activity is to ride my mountain bike around the area. 

Hiking

The most famous feature of the Alabama Hills is Mobius Arch. Mobius Arch is a small arch located along a .6 mile trail. The arch allows you to get great photos under the arch of the eastern sierra skyline. 

Boondocking

The Hills are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which allows you the ability to camp there for up to 14 days.  There are plenty of good primitive campsites located throughout the hills. Just make sure you arrive early because the best ones get taken quickly.

There are no amenities or cell service in the hills. However, the town of Lone Pine is only 5-minutes away and has everything you should need.

Paid Camping

Located 1/2 miles outside Lone Pine on Mt Whitney Portal Road is Portuguese Joe Campground. There’s a nice stream that comes from the LA Aquaduct that runs through the campground. 

It’s a basic campground with 20 campsites, water, trash bins, cell service, and pit toilets. It cost $16 a night and can be reserved online or at the kiosk at the campground. 

Mt. Whitney Portal

The Alabama Hills are located at the base of the Mt. Whitney Portal; on Mt. Whitney Portal Road. The portal is the gateway for hiking to the summit of the continental US tallest mountain. It’s a tough and grueling hike, but if you feel you’re up for the challenge, I recommend you go for it. 

If you plan to hike up Mt. Whitney, remember you have to have a permit. 

It’s a privilege to have Alabama Hills for our enjoyment, so please practice Leave No Trace principles.

Directions:

Take Hwy 395 to Lone Pine. Turn west at the stoplight onto Whitney Portal Road, drive 2.5 miles to Movie Road, turn right.

References and Links:

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