Sweet Home Alabama Hills

By December 24, 2019 January 12th, 2020 Campsites, Excursions

 Following our field trip into the cauldrons, we headed towards Death Valley by way of the Alabama Hills.  We celebrated Christmas among the hoodoos and arches, amidst freshly fallen snow. Definitely an alt holiday to remember!

We’d weathered a 2 day squall in the lovely little town of Bishop, before heading down 395 and towards the notorious Alabama Hills.  Famed for its on-location shoots, many western films were shot in the hoodoo-filled gulleys and fantastical formations.  We ran a good 5 miles down Movie Road, before pulling into a nook just outside the “Ironman” location.

We’d traveled under heavy skies and were under a full gloom curtain when we shut it down for the evening.  We were shocked upon opening the blinds the next morning to find blue skies, and the snow-laden slopes of the High Sierras just to the west.  Mt. Whitney could be glimpsed peaking over the nearer line of 13’ers.

The landscape was dotted with natural stone arches.  Cyclops Arch, 1/4 mile form the campsite, eerily resembled a fanged rattlesnake head when viewed from below.

We took a Christmas Day hike a couple miles cross country to Mobius Arch, the most famous in the area. The arch twists its way skyward and serves as a backdrop for every tourist willing to drive the 10 miles of dirt to get there.

We had walked, rather than driven, but I still felt obliged to snap a shot of a pretty little cowgirl I saw reclining on the arch.

We were a bit alarmed when we stopped for our midday MRE and found the mountaintops shrouded in a descending ceiling of weather.  The spotty shadows gave the rocky landscape an almost surreal look.  Later that evening, the temp spiralled downward and the first flakes of snow began falling.

We woke to a blanketed landscape. Not in the least deterred, we struck out for a thrill on a great ride through the region’s many twisty 4×4 paths.  Soon after, we packed it up and headed for the pass into Death Valley.