Where Are the Alabama Hills by Mammoth?

Just exactly where are the stunning Alabama Hills you’ve surely seen on Instagram?  Though I’d been to Mammoth many times while growing up in California: I only found out about these gorgeous mountains in recent years via social media.  So, on a road trip from Palm Springs back up to Bend, Oregon ~ I knew I had to make the stop this year (with my little puppy Charlie in tow)!  And it turned out to be even easier than I thought to find the Alabama Hills….as they’re just a few miles off of Highway 395 in Lone Pine, California.

Where Are the Alabama Hills by Mammoth? Girl Who Travels the World

My 4-month old puppy Charlie at the Alabama Hills! We stopped here on our road trip from California to Oregon, & right after I took this shot…she took off running with her cute little lab ears flopping all over the place! (Note: This particular spot is only about 1 mile from Whitney Portal Road.)

Map of the Alabama Hills & Lone Pine

Downtown Mammoth

Lone Pine

Movie Road (Viewpoint for Alabama Hills)

Directions to the Alabama Hills in Lone Pine

Directions to the Alabama Hills Viewpoint on Movie Road: From Highway 395, it’s quick & easy to reach the Alabama Hills.  Once you’re in the small town of Lone Pine, look for Whitney Portal Road (located in the center of town, just north of the airport).  Take Whitney Portal Road west for 2.5 miles, & look for Movie Road ~ which will be on your right-hand side.  Turn right onto Movie Road.  Famed Mobius Arch (which frames Mt. Whitney) is located off Movie Road about a mile from Whitney Portal, & some of the best viewpoints are within the first two miles of Movie Road. 

Where Are the Alabama Hills by Mammoth? Girl Who Travels the World

This dirt road (also called Movie Road) is in pretty good condition, & you don’t necessarily need a 4X4 vehicle to drive on it; I have a sedan & did just fine.  The road got its name from Hollywood, as its been a favorite filming destination since the early 1900’s ~ particularly for Westerns. With the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the background, it’s easy to see why….

You can also take Movie Road all the way north until it turns into Moffat Ranch Road; it’s about a four-mile drive, but it took me over 30 minutes, as you can only drive about 10-15 MPH.  The prettiest spots are definitely further south, closer to Whitney Portal Road ~ & if I returned to the Alabama Hills, I wouldn’t do the whole drive again.  There are plenty of turn-outs & campsites along here, so turning around isn’t a problem.

Where Are the Alabama Hills by Mammoth? Girl Who Travels the World

This is what Movie Road looks like further north, closer to Moffat Ranch Road: still beautiful, just not quite as striking as it is further south.

Where Are the Alabama Hills by Mammoth? Girl Who Travels the World

The distinctive look of the reddish Alabama Hills rock formations make them seem separate from the Sierra Nevadas: but geologically speaking, they were formed at the same time, & are part of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range.

Can You Camp by the Alabama Hills?

There are several campsites both in & around the Alabama Hills; this is BLM territory, & you can find more information about camping here.  Unless it’s a holiday weekend, I wouldn’t worry about getting a spot here: there’s plenty of room to camp & roam.  Also nearby are Tuttle Creek Campground (south of the Alabama Hills) & Lone Pine Campground, which lies further to the west, near the base of Mt. Whitney. 

Where Are the Alabama Hills by Mammoth? Girl Who Travels the World

Catching Mobius Arch (pictured here) by moonlight is one of the main reasons to camp at the Alabama Hills. During the day, try hiking the Mobius Arch Loop Trail.

Where to Camp at the Alabama Hills, Girl Who Travels the World

There are lots of pull-outs & camping areas at the Alabama Hills.

Best Things to Do at the Alabama Hills

Things to do at the Alabama Hills include: photography, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, trail running, horseback riding, & fishing (Whitney Portal Road runs right alongside the Lone Pine Creek).  If camping isn’t your thing ~ I’d suggest booking a hotel in Mammoth, where the accommodations are far nicer & more varied than those in Lone Pine.  Mammoth is just under a two-hour drive from the Alabama Hills.

Where Are the Alabama Hills by Mammoth? Girl Who Travels the World

Camping out under the starts at the Alabama Hills.

Where Are the Alabama Hills by Mammoth? Girl Who Travels the World

Let your dog run wild at the Alabama Hills….plenty of room to roam here!

Where to Stay in Mammoth?

If you’re opting to stay in Mammoth over Lone Pine, here are some options located right at the base of the mountains:  1) The Village Lodge ($269+/night), & 2) Juniper Springs Resort ($246+/night).  For budget accommodations, try: 1) Tamarack Lodge & Resort ($129+/night), 2) Innsbruck Lodge ($132+/night), or the 3) Best Western Plus High Sierra Hotel ($163+/night).

Where Are the Alabama Hills by Mammoth,18 Reasons to See the Sunset in Mammoth, Girl Who Travels the World

Sunsets in Mammoth are EPIC & should not be missed!! I’ve written an entire post on where to find the best sunsets in Mammoth ~ which you can find below.

How to Find the Alabama Hills….

Close to Mammoth & the Alabama Hills ~ you’ve got several quintessential California destinations: check out the legendary skiing at Lake Tahoe, amazing hikes & rock climbing at Yosemite National Park (have you seen “Free Solo” yet??!), & the cute June Lake area, which is next to Mammoth.  This is a great part of California to road trip, & the less-crowded Highway 395 makes it far more enjoyable than a trip up I-5.

Read Next: Where to Find the Best Sunsets in Mammoth!