Things to Do in the Alabama Hills
The Alabama Hills has something for everyone! There are a variety of activities to choose from for your visit, no matter how you like to recreate. Scroll down for some ideas for your visit to the Hills.
While visiting Alabama Hills National Scenic area, we need your help protecting this special area. Here are some things to keep in mind while being a good steward and practicing minimal impact.
- Use one of the six established bathrooms in the Alabama Hills.
- If an established bathroom is unavailable, please pack out your solid human waste using a portable waste system (RV toilet, wag bag, portable toilet, etc.). Help us eliminate all signs of human waste and toilet paper in the Hills!
- Don’t crush the brush!
- Stick to established trails and roads whether by vehicle or on foot, by bicycle or horseback.
- Pack it in, pack it out!
- Take out all waste including trash, recycling, dog waste, and human waste. Free dumpsters are located at the Tuttle Creek Campground.
- Pick up after your pet!
- Pets are welcome; they must be kept on a leash. Please pick up after your pet.
Hiking and Trail Running
- Whether you are looking for a short hike to a scenic viewpoint or a more arduous, all-day hike, the Alabama Hills offers a wide range of trails.
- Click HERE for a map of hiking trails. You can also visit an information kiosk or the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center for more information!.
- The Mobius Arch Loop, Shark Fin Loop, and Upper Alabama Hills trail are popular hikes in the area.
- The Wild Wild West Marathon and Ultrarun is an annual race held in May. The course travels through the Alabama Hills and Mt. Whitney foothills.
- The John Wayne Grit Run Series is coming to the Alabama Hills October 2023.
- The Alabama Hills trails are multi-use. They are accessible to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. Please note: Mobius Arch Trail is only open to foot traffic.
- Travel is limited to designated trails and roads only.
- Check out MTB Project for mountain bike trails.
- Weed-free hay is required for stock animals. Tuttle Creek Campground has horse corrals available by reservation. If needed, contact the Bishop BLM field office at 760-872-5000 or
- Off-highway driving in the Alabama Hills is limited to designated roads.
- All roads are multi-use and drivers should be aware of other recreational user groups.
- Follow TreadLightly guidelines for traveling responsibly in your vehicle.
Historic Film Sites
- Over 400 movies have been filmed here, dating back to the 1920s. A “Movie Road Self-Guided Tour” pamphlet can be picked up at the Lone Pine Chamber Office or the Museum of Western Film History to tour the major film sites. The road is ideal for 4WD and high-clearance vehicles. Drive with care to avoid rocks and potholes in low-clearance vehicles.
- Every October the community of Lone Pine hosts the Lone Pine Film Festival. This festival features speakers, actors, and bus tours that showcase movies filmed in the Alabama Hills.
Rock Climbing and Slacklining
- The Alabama Hills offers hundreds of climbing routes that include sport, trad and top-rope climbing. Many of the popular climbing areas are on the West side of Movie road, which is now a day-use area only.
- Check out Mountain Project to find climbing routes in the area.
- If you would like to try rock climbing, however do not have the equipment and expertise, there are local guiding companies in the area that offer guided rock-climbing services.
- Ropes, slacklines, and highlines may not be left unattended.
“The rounded, oddly shaped contours of the Alabama Hills form a sharp contrast to the glacially carved ridges of the Sierra Nevada. While both landforms consist of the same granitic rock, the fantastic shapes of the hills were formed by a combination of natural chemical weathering and wind erosion.” –Bureau of Land Management
- Take yourself on an adventure and explore the unique geology, or attend a geology walk with the interpretive rangers. Visit our Calendar page to find the next ranger program.
- To learn more, check out Geology Underfoot in Death Valley and the Eastern Sierra by Glazner, Sylvester, and Sharp. Also be sure to watch the three-part video series: The Geologic Story of the Alabama Hills
Camping Under the Stars
- The Alabama Hills is known for its natural arches and beautiful granitic formations. Mt. Whitney and many other peaks in the Sierra Nevada provide a stunning backdrop to this high desert landscape. Photographers visit from all over the world to photograph the Hills.
- A permit is required to operate a drone in the Alabama Hills. To obtain a permit contact . Allow 7-10 days for processing; tail number and insurance are required.
- Interpretive rangers in the Alabama Hills provide programs that include geology and natural history, night sky talks, winter nature walks, and more. Upcoming events are below. Visit our Calendar or the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center for more information.
- With very little light pollution, the Hills are an extraordinary place to view the night sky. The Geminid and Quadrantids Meteor Shower occur in late fall and winter. Want to learn how to use a star chart?
- Every spring, wildflowers burst from the bud of desert plants. Keep your eyes peeled for the bright orange apricot mallow, the fiery red scarlet milk vetch, and the vibrant purple blue phacelia. Please, take only photos, leave only a footprint, and don’t pick wildflowers so that may produce seeds for the next wildflower season.
- Target shooting is extremely limited in the Hills. Please contact the Bishop BLM Field Office Call 760-872-5000 or visit the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center for more information.