Rocks, Trails, Movies & History – Wrapping Up Lone Pine, CA
The last 5 days or so we’ve basically just been hanging around and enjoying our boondocking site. My silly ankle twist from the big storm earlier this week has kept me from hiking, but thankfully I can still bike and there’s so much to explore around these hills that it’s kept us more than occupied. Sadly, our time here is coming to an end. We’re closing in on our 14-day limit, plus we just met a family who informed us they’ve got 10 rigs coming in for a reunion just around the corner from our site….definitely time to leave!!!
Before we head off to mineral bath pastures (our next stop is the spa…aaaahhhh), I figured I’d give you a round-up of some of our activities here over the past 2 weeks:
Western Movie Madness
I’ve already talked a bit about the Western Movie history here in the Alabama Hills. Literally hundreds have been filmed in the area and you can get a really good feel of all the ‘ol gun-slingin’, horse-wranglin’ cowboy madness at the fabulous Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History in town. Once you’ve had the low-down from the museum head on over to the visitors center and pick up a Movie Road Guide ($2 at the center or download one for free HERE) so you can do a self-guided driving tour in the Alabama Hills of some of the most famous sites.
Rockin’ Alabama Hills
These 150 million year old rocks are just ideal for photography, exploring, climbing, biking & hiking. Even if you don’t boondock here you just gotta come see them! There are over 300 arches including the famous Mobius Arch (come at sunrise for the best shots), tons of “hidden” trails and no end of scenic beauty.
Majestic Mount Whitney
You can’t come to Lone Pine without seeing Mt.Whitney towering and enticing you in the background. At 14,505 feet (4,421 m) she’s the tallest peak in the lower 48 and the coolest thing about her is she’s hikable by just about anyone with good legs and the spirit to do it. We were sorely tempted to do the summit, but decided instead on a 5-mile round trip day-hike to Lone Pine Lake which you can do without a permit. It’s an awesome and very scenic hike, steep & lined in fall color, ending at an icy deep blue lake with near-perfect reflections. Definitely recommended!
Manzanar Historic Site lies ~10 miles north of Lone Pine and is one of the 10 camps in the US that interred over 100,000 japanese during WWII. It’s a deeply moving place and incredibly well presented. It’s hard to believe this wind-washed isolated spot even existed, and the people who were imprisoned here were forever changed by it. Anyone who has a love of history and a longing to understand the past will want to see this place and take to heart the story.
There’s a ton more stuff to do in the area (including a couple of hikes we did last year, but never got around to this time), but it’ll just have to wait until our next trip to the area. I’m always sad to leave a place I’ve come to love (places just seem to stick to you sometimes), but as usual I’m excited to get to our next spot. It’s the ‘ol story of RVing….always happy to come and always happy to go, with a bit of wistful sadness thrown in.