Alabama Hills - Movie Flat (Area)

Lone Pine, California (Inyo County)

Last Updated: 03/31/2021
4.6 / 5 ( 5 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 1-2
( EASY )
Length: 5.8 miles
Highest Elevation: 4857 feet
Duration: About 1 hour, 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Other Shapes
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Lone Pine
Nearest Town w/ Services: Lone Pine
Official Road Name: Alabama Hills
Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management
District: Bishop Field Office
Distance:
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Alabama Hills - Movie Flat (Area)
Just outside Lone Pine, California, Alabama Hills - Movie Flat is a place where ancient, jagged rock formations enclose on the easy going, winding, off-road trails, and the snow covered Mount Whitney, in the eastern Sierra Nevadas, towers above you to the west. Alabama Hills is a unique California destination and a popular movie and television shoot location. Among the rock croppings of the Alabama Hills you will find some great camping, hiking and plenty of opportunities to explore the maze of trails throughout this incredible place.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Alabama Hills - Movie Flat (Area)

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
2WD Vehicle with High Clearance
Concerns:
Summary:
Mild rocky sections give this trail it's rating.

Technical Rating: 1-2
( EASY )

Dirt and/or rocky road. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 5" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 5" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 6" inches. Good tire placement likely. Can be steep, but with good traction.
Read more about our rating system

Description

The trails throughout the Alabama Hills - Movie Flat area are easy dirt and sand roads. The few challenging sections include tight rock alleyways, moderately steep, but short, dirt / sand hills, some tight turns and a few small, smooth rocks to drive over. This guide covers only a portion of what this area has to offer. Alabama Hills includes many more unique features and unnamed, unmarked off-road trails. This guide only provides an overview of the area east of Movie Road. Most of the off-road trails in Alabama Hills will end at a highpoint, a large loop ( most with room for camping ), or a hiking trail.

Waypoints

1. Whitney Portal / Movie Flat Road (0 mi)
The easiest access into the Alabama Hills area is on Movie Flat Road, off Whitney Portal.
2. End of Pavement on Movie Road (0.6 mi)
The dirt trails begin here, at the BLM Alabama Hills sign. Movie Flat Road continues as a wide, graded dirt road. Watch for open trails to either side of Movie Flat Road to head into the rock croppings.
3. Cliff Lookout (1.3 mi)
Here is an example of the great views found throughout this area. The trail ends here, at a small cliff, with views to the west.
4. Scenic Loop (1.6 mi)
This point is a great example of the numerous loops many of the trails lead to.
5. Amigo Rocks (1.85 mi)
Here is a short hill up to an open turnaround point at the Amigo Rocks; a few vertical standing rocks that watch over the valley below.
6. Twist Hill (1.95 mi)
This is one of the few, slightly harder, but still easy, areas of the Alabama Hills trails. Twist your way up and over this small hill and around the boulders on each side.
7. Rock Loop / Hike Trail (2.5 mi)
Here is a large loop at the end of the trail. A hiking trail continues on, but 4x4s will need to turn back.
8. Dead End / Hike Trail (2.9 mi)
Here is another loop at the end of the trail, a hiking trail continues on, but 4x4s will need to turn back.
9. Green Loop (3.24 mi)
This is a popular spot for camping, with tall rocks enclosing three sides, a large loop for parking and a great view of the higher hills and greenery below.
10. Squeeze (3.7 mi)
This might be the tightest alleyway in the area (at least for 4x4 vehicles). A Jeep JK just barley fits through here with a minimal climb up the sides. Wider vehicles may want to bypass this point.
11. High Loop (4.7 mi)
This is another good location for camping. About half way up the hill you get views of the rocky valley below.
12. High Ground Camp (5.8 mi)
If you want a camp with a view, here it is. The High Ground Camp overlooks Movie Flat Road and most of the trails below.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 36.595572, -118.108749

Starting Point: Lone Pine

Head west on Whitney Portal Road. Movie Flat Road is 1.8 miles west of the 395, just off Whitney Portal Road.

Camping

Dispersed
Alabama Hills is free and opened to dispersed camping. Camp anywhere, just don't block the trails. This area is full of easily accessable turnouts and loops for tent or RV camping, but there are no facilities. Lone Pine, just a few miles east, includes numerous motels, restaurants and gas stations.
Camping: Alabama Hills - Movie Flat (Area)

Trail Reviews (9)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Made a quick run through here on my way home.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Hit the road from LA all the way up to Alabama Hills purely as a Sunday drive. Didn't do much and didn't camp, but gosh what an excellent getaway after being cooped in the house so much due to the pandemic.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The area is very beautiful and unique. The trail itself was easy but keep an eye out for rocks/boulders. Also keep an eye out for campers on the trail - many points dead end and campers find their way into the cracks and crevices. We camped at high ground camp and there was nightmarish winds from about 9pm until 3am. The group was getting blasted with sands, privacy tents and other goods flew off without a trace into the night. Roof top tents were lifting off the ground about 6 inches and slamming back down. Will not be returning for camping there due to the winds but day trips are still on the table.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This place is absolutely incredible! Every type of vehicle can make it. A bit of a cold front came through so the weather was perfect. We will be back here many more times. It would be cool if the trails were challenging enough to limit the number of people, but I guess it's nice for the RV owners. Check out my first ever travel video for the trip.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Been to Alabama Hills twice. Last one being in late February 2020. Weather was perfect! 60's-70's by day, down in the 40's by night. Alabama Hills is a fairly easy, accessible even to sedans. However it is a great getaway with lots of hiking an breath taking views. Awesome spot for astral photography, see my Milky Way capture below. We did some exploring during the day - Mt Whitney Portal, Cerro Gordo Mines/Ghost Town, just to name a few. I recommend Cerro Gordo Ghost Town.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I was surprised by how busy the area was mid week in October! I camped at high camp (waypoint 12) which was surprisingly one of the few campsites available. Amazing views. It got down to about 50 at night with howling winds. There is a 3 car width road that moves throughout the park if you're towing a trailer. I made it to high camp with a 16 ft off-road teardrop with good clearance. There is 1 notable obstacle if you're trying to tow anything to high camp located @ 36.62041, -118.11212 which includes a drop off of a couple feet accompanied by a large boulder in the middle of the trail. I got out and walked the line, which I would suggest depending on how long your rig is. There is a camp spot about 20 yards before this obstacle if you discover your setup won't make it. Most trails are wide enough to pull over and allow other vehicles to pass, and vice versa. Definitely a cool area worth checking out but be prepared to search for camp sites as this place seems to be busy even mid weed. One thing to note is that because this is a popular area for movies to film you may have certain roads coned off. While I was there the Mobius arch loop hiking trail was closed for 2 days. Disappointing but I suppose it comes with the territory.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Great area to explore. So many trails and side roads. Good winter spot below the snow line. BEWARE THE SQUEEZE. It’s tighter than it looks in the pictures

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
What a scenic place!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fun trail in a richly historic area with some pretty decent rock climbing. I took some friends through here in the late afternoon and it was beautiful. Very mellow and vehicle friendly - except the squeeze which you can by-pass. There are a lot of great camping spots through here if you are a traveler on 395 or want to use the area as a base camp for climbing in the Portal. Great food in Lone Pine and great burgers up in the Whitney Portal.

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

G. Martin

Mapping Crew - California

G. Martin, gm4x4 on Youtube , is a California native, born and raised in northern California and now living and wheeling in southern California. He enjoys exploring new trails and setting up camp in the remote outdoors. You may come across him in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the mountains of Big Bear, in the central Sierras near Shaver Lake or any other dirty, rocky road in the southwest. TrailsOffroad offers a focus point in G.Martin's offroad exploration.
For individual use only, not to be shared.