Rocks, Trails, Movies & History – Wrapping Up Lone Pine, CA

Just another great day in the Alabama Hills

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

Fun props at the Movie Museum

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

Yours truly in the famous Mobius Arch

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

Hiking the Mt. Whitney trail

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!

Moving Manzanar

The desolate and moving Manzanar

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.

Polly poses at lovely Lone Pine Lake

Paul contemplates our last days of boondocking beauty in the Alabama Hills
The graveyard at Manzanar

Low sun on the Whitney trail
Fall colors still linger at ~10,000 ft
One of many “hidden” pictures in the Alabama Hills
Alabama Rock lovliness
A cool crossing on the hike
Gorgeous colors on the Whitney trail
And more rockin’ fun
Some of the rocks here can be rather…errr…suggestive
A relaxing day in the boonies
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  1. says

    I really like the Lone Pine area. Spent time there many, many years ago. You describe areas that I never got to then, but hope to someday. We are in Cape Blanco, Site A24. We are staying here because of your glowing report on this place; and we have to agree it is exceptional.

    • libertatemamo says

      Just popped over to your blog so I could re-live the place w/ your pics. Glad you’re enjoying it. And GOOD HEALING to Rosie…what an ordeal she’s been through!

  2. Beth Bob and the Beagle says

    You will really enjoy the Spa they have done a reno new washrooms and the big pool is completley redone it was 45 when we where ther in Oct hope it is a little cooler for you enjoy

    • libertatemamo says

      Well we’re headed to Sam’s Family Spa (don’t know if that’s the one you were talking about?). We’ve stayed there a few times before and really enjoy their mineral pools. Plus there’s a big, open space to walk doggie behind the park.

  3. Brenda says

    we spent some time in Lone Pine and the Alabama hills. We stayed in Porteragee Joes camp area. Love the Mt Whitney hills. Loved the rocks also in this area.

    • libertatemamo says

      Cool! Just looked up your campground. Haven’t been to visit, but it looks neat and the price is right. I think I prefer Tuttle Creek BLM for the view, but it’s always nice to have a back-up.

  4. cozygirl says

    I put a big fat red star on my Google my places map….dreamy! Thanks so much for sharing the best advice for any blog out there! You give us extra courage for our planning. Came wait to hear about the next stop…travel safe!

  5. Rusty & Kelly Glen says

    Hello to you both and to all the paws.
    My American born wife and I have just moved to the US from NZ, after she has been in NZ with me for 8 years.
    We spend a large portion of the past 5 yrs full time RVing in NZ and we are going to do the same here.
    We have been reading your site these last two days and love the stories and pics WOW.
    id say you have some income to be made just in producing a picture book of your travels.
    Anyway we are in Mo at present with family and will be heading to Las Vegas in the next week or two to pick up the 2000 bounder 34 we have bought.
    We will then spend about 3 weeks traveling our way back to MO where we have to sort out a few things.
    I am a country entertainer/recording artist & we hope to find a manager here and to be able to travel and entertain along with selling my CD’s to make a living.
    It would be great to meet up some day, meantime we will keep reading & enjoying your blog.

    Rusty & Kelly
    p.s what happend about your faulty slide out in the end ?

    • libertatemamo says

      Hi Rusty & Kelly,

      Great to “meet” you both! We did a road-trip through NZ many years ago (even tramped the Routeburn) and have many fond memories of the place.

      Congrats on getting the new rig & starting your travels here in the US! Wish you all the best in both your travels & your music career! Definitely look us up if we happen to be close in travels. By the way Las Vegas has some neat public parks just outside of town (e.g. Valley of Fire State Park) if you need a place to break in the rig.

      As for the slide issue we finally managed to get it repaired thanks to the Elite guys in Oregon (GREAT team). Still holding so far although I still hold my breath and cringe everytime that big ‘ol thing needs to come in.


  6. Sherry Fields says

    Still sharing your posts with my students! You’re a great teacher! :) One of my students with autism calls you Carmen Sandiego!!! It’s so neat to share your travels with my students! They can’t wait to hear about the spa!

    • libertatemamo says

      Oh Sherry that’s just SO much fun to hear! I’m really happy you and your students are enjoying the posts. Thanks so much for following along!

    • libertatemamo says

      Yeah, we discovered the place in our 1st year and just seem to get drawn back again and again. It’s a quirky spot, but those mineral pools are just soooooo nice.

  7. Michele says

    My husband and I are seriously considering renting an RV for a month long coastal Californian trip. We have never RV’ed before but we
    love reading about your adventures. How do you find or do could you recommend a reputable rental place from Los Angeles?

    • libertatemamo says

      We’ve never rented so can’t give you any personal recommendations, but there are plenty of rental companies (e.g. cruiseamerica) that do the job. I would just call and ask around.

  8. Rusty & Kelly Glen says

    Hi Nina & Paul
    Kelly and I went today and checked out Babler state park on your recomendation, thank you.
    What an awesome park as drove through a big stag ran out of the forest and across the road, very cool. The visitor center was really neat and we had a nice chin wag with the lady there who gave me some forms and info for working as camp minders, something we’d like to do
    We will be staying in Babler S.P as one of our base camps when home here in MO.
    Thanks again for the wonderful tip.
    Rusty & Kelly Glen

    • libertatemamo says

      Oh excellent! I’m so happy you liked the park. I stayed there for ~2 weeks last year and really enjoyed the space & nearby trails. Lots of lovely hiking in that area!

  9. Rusty & Kelly Glen says

    Sorry meant to ask any recomendations around the south rim of Grand Canyon we will be staying there fro a few days when we leave Vegas.

    • libertatemamo says

      Haven’t stayed in the area, so unfortunately can’t recommend anything off-hand. When we were in the area we stayed by Kanab to volunteer at Best Friends (animal rescue) and took a day-trip to the North Rim.

  10. says

    Finally we are back on the road and currently on scenic 395. Will be checking out the beautiful sites you have recommended. We will be in Bishop tomorrow and you are right the nights here are really Brrr… Hope the weather holds up till we get to Lone Pine and Alabama Hills. Too bad we can’t catch up with you.

    • libertatemamo says

      They’re having a bit of a hot spell this week so you may get lucky and hit really good weather the next few days. Enjoy your trip!! It’s a wonderful drive even with a bit of brrrr thrown in :)

    • libertatemamo says

      Oh you would LOVE this place then. So many interesting photographic areas here…and the arches are excellent. Many photo groups will drive here in early AM to watch the sunrise through the Mobius Arch.


  1. […] We abandoned ourselves to the glory of fall in SW Oregon and CA spending a few weeks at stunning Crater Lake followed by our favorite drive of ALL TIME on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains (Hwy 395) with our buddies Lu & Terry. Here we checked out ghost towns, explored June Lake, discovered the oldest living things on earth, caught some awesome hikes and did a bit of boondocking. […]

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