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.
Map of the Alabama Hills & 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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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!
We’ve always wanted to go here! Didn’t know the Alabama Hills were so close to 395. Have you ever stayed in Lone Pine and if so, where? Camping looks like it might be the best option here.
Hi Phil! I did try to stay in Lone Pine (b/c I didn’t want to drive much further), but I drove by pretty much every hotel & either there wasn’t vacancy, or the hotel(s) just didn’t look that enticing. I moved on to Bishop! Hope that helps : ) Noelle