Alabama Hills, CA
Alabama Hills is a true hidden gem in California.
Staying in Alabama Hills means dry camping, or boondocking. If you absolutely have to have hookups, you could stay in an RV park in the nearby town of Lone Pine, CA, but if at all possible, I highly recommend staying IN Alabama Hills.
Imagine waking up to views of the snow capped Sierra Nevada mountain range out your front door with Mt. Whitney staring down at you in all of her glory, and then on all other sides you’re surrounded by GIGANTIC boulders… your very own natural playground just waiting to be explored… Every day I was there I kept asking myself if this was real life! We visited in May, which was a great time. It got warm during the day but not warm enough to need A/C, and the nights cooled down nicely. There was a consistent desert wind that kept things feeling good. The snakes hadn’t emerged for the season just yet and the snow was still on the mountains. Pure perfection.
Basically, you drive down movie road (lots of movies have been filmed there) and find your own campsite. There are SO many to choose from. We are in a 42 ft. fifth wheel and heard our options might be limited, but we arrived on a Saturday late afternoon and found the perfect spot right away. The hubs skillfully maneuvered our rig into a great space, nestled in some giant boulders, and we were in heaven.
You could spend an infinite amount of time here just exploring on your own. My kids created multiple “hide-outs” in the rocks and entertained themselves for hours on end. There are also designated trails and hikes you can do in the area. We did an easy but beautiful hike called Mobius Arch Loop Trail that we really enjoyed. There are some great rock climbing spots for serious climbers, as well as boulders for scrambling and trails for hiking, biking or ATVs.
There is little to no cell signal in Alabama Hills, but if you find yourself needing some signal for work, the little town of Lone Pine is just a short drive away. My husband enjoyed working and using the free wifi at Lone Star Bistro while we were there. It’s a great place for coffee or lunch. There’s a grocery store in town, a small library we visited as well as a museum that is free for kids and asks a $5 donation for adults. It’s called Lone Pine Film History Museum and it showcases all the movies filmed in Alabama Hills and has a ton of memorabilia from those films. There’s a little movie theater where you can watch a short movie that includes clips of many of the movies filmed in the area! I thought it was well worth it and recommend stopping in if you’re in Lone Pine!
If you EVER get the chance to explore this magnificent place, take it! You won’t be disappointed.