Alabama Hills - Movie Flat (Area)

Lone Pine, California (Inyo County)

Last Updated: 01/13/2022
4.5 / 5 ( 10 reviews )
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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

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

MANDATORY
1
EASY
OPTIONAL
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.
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Description

The Alabama Hills - Movie Flat area trails 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/Hiking 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/Hiking 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 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

Starting Point: Lone Pine, California

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

Camping

Dispersed
As of October 1, 2021, the west side of Movie Road in the Movie Flat area and any area marked with a "no camping" sign are day-use only areas. Additional changes to dispersed camping will occur throughout the fall and winter. These changes will include a required free permit and further delineation of areas where camping may occur. Eventually, camping will be limited to sites identified with a campsite marker in the areas shown on this map. For now, camping is still allowed along most of this track, but not alongside or on the west side of Movie Road. To control human waste, porta-potties have been placed in the Alabama Hills. Please use these restrooms or pack out your solid human waste using a portable waste system (RV toilet, wag bag, portable toilet, etc.). Alabama Hills' nearby campgrounds include BLM Tuttle Creek Campground, the Inyo National Forest Lone Pine Campground, and the Inyo County Portuguese Joe Campground. Lone Pine includes numerous motels, restaurants, and gas stations just a few miles east.
Camping: Alabama Hills - Movie Flat (Area)

Trail Reviews (10)

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: Anyone been here in the last month ? I Was going to do a trip from San Diego this month and wanted to see if there was still dispersed camping at these way points marked camping ? Or do you now need a permit.
–Eric M (03/25/2022)
A: I haven’t been recently, but permits aren’t required yet. BLM doesn’t have a permit system in place yet. Dispersed camping should still be OK near most of these WPs. Waypoint 12 would be the safest bet. If you see otherwise, please get some pics and leave a trip report.
–G. Martin (03/25/2022)

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.
For individual use only, not to be shared.