CALIFORNIA – ALABAMA HILLS RECREATION AREA – Arch Loop Trail
Photo Experience: Alabama Hills is a very special place. Even if you are not familiar with the name, you have probably seen this area as the background for scores of television shows and movies that have been filmed there. The heavily weathered and jointed granite rocks provide the foreground for spectacular views of the eastern Sierra Nevada, including Mt. Whitney, the tallest peak in the United States outside Alaska. The Arch Loop Trail is a short but worthwhile hike providing opportunities to get up close and personal with the scenery as well as see and photograph a granite arch or two. Early morning, just after sunrise, is the best time to be in this area. A zoom lens that covers the range from wide angle to short telephoto will serve you well here.
Other Info: In the town of Lone Pine, turn west on Whitney Portal Road. Drive up the road approximately 2.75 miles. Turn right on Movie Road (a well-graded dirt road). Drive 1.5 miles – the road will take a sharp turn to the right. Immediately after the turn, turn left into the dirt parking lot. I suggest taking the loop that begins at the western (left) end of the parking lot. Walk down to the bottom of the wash. Across the wash, take the middle fork. (There should be a stake that has “Arch Loop Trail” on it very close to the beginning of the middle branch.) Hiking out about a quarter of a mile will bring you to the most famous arch in Alabama Hills – Mobius Arch. But this is far from a “one-and-done” location. Make sure you take the time to explore this area. I suggest taking water, a hat, and sunscreen on this trail.