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Camping in the boulders and dirt with the snow covered peaks, in an area that’s free BLM and the opportunity to choose your own spot within a massive and area= unbeatable. So beautiful. So raw. So private. We stop here a night or two in every trip as our jumping off and finishing spot when touring the east side.
Lots of spots. First come first served. A nice creek running through the campground offers great chance to refresh even in the hot part of the year. Even if it’s so cold getting in is almost impossible. Campsites are too close and even on the 4th of July weekend wasn’t closed (albeit this is during Covid-19). Views of the peaks surrounding Whitney makes for wonderful scenery. Only $8/night. Although yes, Alabama hills are right next door, totally free, and even better.
Really nice site and handy to the dunes and nearby canyons.
There’s 21 sites spread out amongst Jeffrey pines as well as others. Tent pads and fire pits and bear boxes. Vault toilets and a water spigot. Trails to multiple peaks and passes all from this alpine valley. Coyotes, fox, deer and if you hike high enough you might see some bighorn sheep. The night sky splashed with the Milky Way visible most nights. Mainly a thru hikers stop or base camp for those venturing into the higher elevations for a few days. Beautiful meadows and streams running through it with marmots popping up from the rocks. It’s a gem of a spot. Day hike to Chicken Spring Lake for an icy dip when temperatures climb.
Location- ALABAMA HILLS, Lone Pine- Movie Rd. CA. Tent Dry Camping. BLM Land, for disperse camping. No reservations required, unless you choose to stay at a “campground”.
Absolutely breathtaking place, it feels like you’ve landed on another planet or as if you’ve been taken back into time, to the early dawn of mankind days. This was our first disperse/dry camping and I wouldn’t camp any other way, it was marvelous.
Directions- Once at Alabama Hills, Take Hwy 395 to Lone Pine. (it’s a proper town with restaurants/ grocery stores/ car workshops). Turn west at the stoplight onto Whitney Portal Road, drive 2.5 miles to Movie Road, turn right & the road turns into a “well groomed dirt path” from that point onwards “The world is your oyster! You can basically set up camp anywhere. As you drive down the groomed dirt path, there are multiple exits to various dirt paths leading inwards, where you can pick your spot to set up camp.
One very important thing is you MUST come here in a GOOD condition 4WD! There’s NO other way. You don’t want to get WHEELS stuck on the dirt path. We had rented a 4WD for the weekend.
We camped about 3miles in Movie Rd. Another good thing is if you run out of any supplies or have car trouble “Lone Pine” town is nearby you can drive over in minutes or call for any help. Phone service & wifi is available only on the groomed dirt path, also a bit unstable, however manageable for a call or text. So you’ll have to walk out of your campsite back to main rd.
It’s wonderful to go on hikes and explore during the day, that’s what we did. Evenings we’d sit around fire and cook dinner. Then at night time S’mores time! (we have a camp fire permit) you get it online.
Another important item to have around is a sturdy SHOVEL, as it’s very sandy here and the shovel is very multi-purpose, well at any camp for that matter. Bring Plenty of WATER, it’s very dry out here. As there are no water taps around, unless you head back to Lone Pine. Also you MUST clean up after, bring along a few trash bags or a bin, to clear up before you leave. LEAVE no Trace. Keep nature clean.
This is purely disperse camping. You’ll have to bring everything of your own. Our camp was a 3days/ 2nights. Arrived on Friday and left on Sunday morning. Waking up every morning to this spectacular view, is pure bliss! We’d definitely be coming back here a few more times! If you haven’t already then hop on a 4WD and head over to Alabama Hills!
We stayed here while passing through Nevada on our way to Las Vegas. Would only recommend this park for an overnight stay as you are only about 20 yards from the highway and it's VERY noisy. There are double rumble strips for truckers so that increases the volume by far. The park is no frills and could use a little sprucing up (week and tumble weeds). The cost is only $25 a night, but I think you can find others in town at the same price. We didn't utilize the showers or laundry so unable to comment. Check in was friendly and expedient.
Hands down my favorite place to camp! Granted, you won’t get the facilities or running water, but as far as beauty and open space go this place is unmatched. The drive along 395 to get there isn’t so bad either. Tons of hikes in and around Alabama Hills. Gets pretty toast in the summer though.