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The Alabama Hills

December 3, 2023

Travel VLOG

The Alabama Hills

The Alabama Hills

Day 2 - Lone Pine Trip: Mammoth to the Alabama Hills


“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey” -Unknown


I’ve learned that often, it’s the unexpected on a trip that can create the most lasting of memories. However, I suppose that is a two-way street that can be both good and bad. In this case, it was good. After a cozy stay in a quaint little cabin at the Tamarack Lodge in Mammoth Lakes, we awoke the next morning to 26° and a good 4” covering of fresh snow everywhere. The comfort of the wood stove in our little cabin made it difficult to peel ourselves out of bed and get moving with our day, but our dog Kobe was ready to head out. After a while of his whimpering and nudges, we finally conceded and got up and got dressed. Kobe was in for a surprise too as he loves the snow. He took full advantage of his time in Mammoth that morning as he raced around, rolled in, and played in all the fluffy new snow. If you haven’t already read our blog post on Day 1 of our trip, be sure to check it out HERE.


After our brief but beautiful walk, we came back and quickly packed our stuff up and hit the road. I’m not (much of) a skier, so I’ve never seen Mammoth in the winter before. With snow everywhere, it is an incredible site to behold. We stopped and grabbed a quick bite to eat and then headed back to the 395 to continue our journey South to Lone Pine and our destination point for the day, the Alabama Hills.


Check Out Our Video Diary of Day 2 of Our Trip:

The scenery quickly gave way from a wintery wonderland and back to the desert scape that the 395 carved its way through. The snow quickly melted and started flying off the Jeep in large chunks and after an hour or so, we pulled off the side of the road and headed up a dirt road so we could give Kobe a chance to run around and stretch his legs. To our surprise, we spotted two abandoned mines with a variety of old rusted-out gear lying around. Linda and I are like little kids with this type of stuff and anxiously headed up to check out and explore these two relics of a bygone era. We’re not sure what they were mines for but Linda spotted an assortment of yellow rocks around each of the sites so we wondered if perhaps it may have been a sulfur mine. Nevertheless, it sure was fun to walk around and imagine what it would have been like for the folks who worked those mines once upon a time.


Anyway, it was time to head back to the Jeep and continue our trip to The Alabama Hills, we only had another 30 minutes to go, and I’ve been anxious to visit this area for a few years now. I had several routes mapped out through Trails Offroad and Gaia GPS which I use for our off-road adventures. As we pulled into the sleepy little town of Lone Pine, you could see Mount Whitney looming in the distance. This time of year, it was quiet, but in the spring and summer months, the town is jumping with a variety of outdoor enthusiasts who descend upon the town to backpack Mount Whitney or explore the many dirt trails, hiking trails, mountain bike, rock climb or just stargaze in the beautiful night sky. There is also plenty of dispersed camping out there which would have been a lot of fun for us had we been there even just a few weeks sooner. We drove by to check out the location of our lodging for the night, the Best Western Frontier Motel, and then plugged in one of our saved routes and headed on up to the Alabama Hills.


Gaia GPS routed us through an unbelievably beautiful slot canyon. It is something that must be seen to be fully appreciated. Imagine piles of giant river rock that are a reddish / tan color just strewn about.

From the Bureau of Land Management Website:

"The rounded contours of the Alabamas form a sharp contrast between the glacially chiseled ridges of the Sierra peaks to the west. Both geologic features were shaped by the same uplifting occurring 100 million years ago. The hills have been subject to a type of erosion known as chemical weathering. When the hills were still covered with soil, percolating water rounded the granite blocks and sculpted the interesting formations you see today. Hundreds of natural arches and windows can be found throughout the area."


As we officially entered into this giant playground of the Alabama Hills, we headed onto  Movie Road and started our day of exploration. It’s called Movie Road because, with this dramatic landscape, countless Westerns have been filmed in this exact location and it sure isn't hard to see why. It's the perfect location to imagine cowboys riding through on their horses. 


We pulled off the road almost immediately and let Kobe out to explore and words fail to describe how much fun we had that day. If you were ever that kid that liked to rock hop from one rock to the next, well then this is your place! The Alabama Hills was worth the destination, and I can’t wait to go back.

Be sure to hit us up if you have any questions or are planning a trip yourself.


Stay tuned for Day 3!




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