On day 6 we picked up camp in Bishop and headed to Lone Pine to get closer to an area we had never explored before …the Alabama Hills and Mt. Whitney. We got a late start and the wind gods decided to kick up a fuss. We got settled into our new camp, but exploring would have to wait for next day.
Day 7 started early. We headed for the Alabama Hills just west of Lone Pine along the road to the Mt. Whitney Portal.
The Hills are famous as the location for dozens of western movies. You can just imagine the good guys chasing the bad guys or the Indians laying in wait for some unsuspecting white men to come around the bend.
According to Wikipedia “the Alabamas are the same age as the nearby Sierras. The difference in wear can be accounted for by different patterns of erosion…Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, towers several thousand feet above this low range, which itself is 1,500 feet (460 m) above the floor of Owens Valley. However, gravity surveys indicate that the Owens Valley is filled with about 10,000 feet (3,000 m) of sediment and that the Alabamas are the tip of a very steep escarpment. This feature may have been created by many earthquakes similar to the 1872 Lone Pine earthquake which, in a single event, caused a vertical displacement of 15–20 feet.”
To get to the really cool formations you have to leave the paved road. We ate a lot of dust as we wandered the hills for hours. The cool thing about the rock formations in the Alabama Hills is you can see different things in the formations like you can when you watch big white, puffy clouds. What do you imagine seeing in the rocks?
We eventually made our way (along very dusty, dirt roads) to the Mt. Whitney Portal were the hike and climb, for the more adventurous folk, begins…
Even with California’s drought, the Lone Pine Creek waterfall at the trailhead was flowing pretty good.