Granitehills with tall grey mountains in the background.

Alabama Hills National Scenic Area

The Alabama Hills are a formation of rounded rocks and eroded hills set between the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the geologically complex Inyo Mountains. Both geologic features were shaped by the same uplifting occurring 100 million years ago. The hills are located west of Lone Pine and are managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Visitors enjoy touring film sites, photography, rock climbing, exploring natural arches, and viewing the swaths of wildflowers that bloom every spring. In March 2019, Congress designated the Alabama Hills as a National Scenic Area as a part of the John D. Dingell, Jr Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act.

Visitor Center

At the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center you can view Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the “lower 48 states” and plan a trip to Badwater Basin in "Death Valley, the lowest place in North America. While you’re here, explore our interpretative displays, book store and native plant garden.

Staffed by a combination of U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association employees, we provide visitor information for wilderness, campground, highway and weather conditions for the Eastern Sierra.

The Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (ESIA) bookstore has a comprehensive selection of books and maps of the region. Revenue from sales of these items helps support interpretative programs.


US-395 and CA-136, Lone Pine, CA 93545


Hours vary, dependent upon staffing. For up to date information please visit the Visitor Center webpage on the U.S. Forest Service website.

Closed: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.


Located two miles south of Lone Pine, CA 93545, at the junction of U.S. 395 and State Route 136. No overnight parking.


  • Don’t recreate alone. Leave an activity plan with friends, family, or a ranger that details where you will be and when you expect to return.
  • Have a communication plan. Cell phone signals might not always be available.
  • Carry/ drink as much water as possible. At least one gallon per person per day is recommended.
  • Protection from the sun. Dress in layers, wear a hat, sunglasses, protective clothing, and sturdy footwear.  Bring warm layers and a waterproof shell on longer hikes - the weather can change quickly.
  • Know the trail.  Carry a map and pay attention to the terrain so you can find your way back.
  • Beware dangerous plants and animals.
  • Keep children near you and stay on the trail.
  • In an Emergency:  Inyo County Sheriff (760) 878-0383
  • Nearest hospital: Southern Inyo Hospital (760) 876-5501, 501 E Locust Street, Lone Pine, CA

Enjoying the National Scenic Area

  • Pack out all trash. There are no trash services.  In the high desert environment, even natural items like orange peels take years to decompose.
  • Travel on existing roads and trails. Vegetation in this climate can take decades to recover when crushed by off road driving or parking.
  • Camp in campgrounds. Using campgrounds reduces the number of vehicles, so that the great views are not blocked.
  • Use the restroom in town or at nearby campgrounds. If that isn't an option, pack out your solid human waste suing a portable waste system (RV toilet, wag bag, portable toilet, etc.)
  • Have a great time. The Alabama Hills are a great place to explore natural wonders and experience your public lands.

Day Use

  • Tour film sites. Explore the locations of over 400 movies that have been filmed here.
  • Take pictures. The Alabama Hills scenery has been an inspiration for photographers for decades.
  • Have an adventure. Hike, fish, rock climb, explore natural arches, mountain bike, ride horses, view the wildflowers, or find your own adventure

Overnight  Use

Basic campground at the base of the snow capped Sierra Nevadas. Photo by Jesse Pluim/BLM.


The best place to camp when you visit the Alabama Hills is at the nearby campgrounds, all within a few miles of Movie Road. This includes the BLM Tuttle Creek Campground , the Inyo National Forest Lone Pine Campground and the Inyo County Portuguese Joe Campground

Designated Campsites

View a map of designated campsites.

Camping outside of a campground in designated campsites requires extra time and preparation to make sure impacts are minimal to this special place. A great source for tips to reduce your impact when dispersed camping is

California camping sign side by side, tent on the left and tent with a red line on the right.

Camping is only allowed in areas marked with a tent symbol (left). You will see signs with a tent and red line that indicate locations where you cannot camp (right). Do not create new campsites or move boulders or rocks to make sites bigger.

To control human waste, six porta potties have been placed in the Alabama Hills. Please either use these restrooms or pack out your solid human waste using a portable waste system (RV toilet, wag bag, portable toilet, etc.).

Please check back before your next visit to get the most up to date information. 


  • The indigenous people of this valley still reside in this place where their ancestors have lived for thousands of years. They ask that you respect and care for this land. Do not disturb or destroy anything that you may find.

Film History

Beginning in 1920, Hollywood filmmakers began to take an interest in the Alabama Hills for its natural scenery. Since then, over 400 movies have been filmed here.

Movie stars such as Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, and the Lone Ranger, shot it out with outlaws. Classics such as Gunga Din, Yellow Sky, and How the West Was Won were filmed along Movie Road. The 1990 Sci-Fi classic Tremors was filmed almost entirely on location in the Alabama Hills.

During 1993, portions of Maverick were filmed here. More recently, Star Trek Generations, Gladiator, Iron Man, and Django Unchained were filmed in the Alabama Hills. Find a copy of the Movie Road Touring Brochure at the Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine.

Each 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. The area continues to attract film crews, benefiting the local economy



5/13/2024 -Please check road status before your next visit to the Alabama Hills. The main access to the Hills through Whitney Portal Road is closed. Visitors need to use an alternate route, preferably Lubken Canyon Road (signs on Highway 395 will direct you). Visit the Inyo County website for updates. The Alabama Hills remain open, but visitors should prepare for longer travel times to get to Movie Road. We ask that visitors drive slowly on the detour.

Quick Facts

Created: March 12, 2019
Size: 18,610 Acres

Quick Links

Plan Your Visit


Managers Reports

Flickr Album

View from Arch Loop Trail

Featured Video



Contact Us

Bureau of Land Management 
Bishop Field Office 

351 Pacu Lane, Suite 100
Bishop, CA 93514
Phone: 760-872-5000