Lone Pine Offers Plenty of Appealing Adventures

The remnants of the Owens Lake Silver-Lead Furnace can be seen north of Keeler along Highway 136. PHOTO BY AARON CRUTCHFIELD

 

Inyo County visitors can spend an entire week’s vacation enjoying the many offerings the quaint town of Lone Pine has to offer. From world-class outdoor adventure to award-winning museums, Lone Pine ranks at the top of attractions that appeal to everyone.

Hikers and climbers are drawn to the magic that is Mt. Whitney. Only 12 miles from downtown Lone Pine lays Whitney Portal, the starting point for those heading for the summit of tallest U.S. peak outside Alaska. Note, this is not a stroll in the woods. High altitude hiking (Mt. Whitney peaks out at 14,508 feet) can drain the most fit and experienced climber. Be prepared with water, food and extra clothing. The trek usually requires an overnight stay.

A camp store and outstanding café are found at the Portal, along with a Forest Service campground, an incredible waterfall, a fishing pond a Forest Service campground, and shorter hiking trails that offer a good trek into the wooded Sierra. Additional campgrounds and RV parks also dot the area, providing many camping options that suit a wide variety of camping experiences.

The Alabama Hills located just outside of town on Whitney Portal Road offer a variety of outdoor options. Climbers can scale the landmark “Shark Fin.” Those seeking a less strenuous adventure can tour the many dirt roads to seek out great views of the towering Sierra and Mt. Whitney. An added bonus are the numerous rock arches located in the hills, which are ready made for photos. Camping is allowed in the Hills, which can accommodate tent campers and RV and car campers.

Anglers will find several opportunities to land the “big one” in the Lone Pine area. Tuttle Creek and Lone Pine Creek are located just on the edge of town and are well stocked by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. It takes a little work to get to the Lower Owens River, but it can be worth the effort. Just three miles south of Lone Pine is Diaz Lake. Fishing for bluegill, bass and brown trout is popular here.

The Museum of Western Film History contains world class exhibits depicting the important role Lone Pine has played in the production of Hollywood movies, film and commercials. The Museum contains an extensive collection of real movie costumes, movie cars, props, posters and other memorabilia. This collection represents a history of western film and highlights those films made in the area in and around Lone Pine from the early days of the Round Up to the modern blockbusters of today such as Iron Man.

 

A creek runs through the middle of Spainhower Park. PHOTO BY AARON CRUTCHFIELD

 

Lone Pine says "Howdy". PHOTO BY AARON CRUTCHFIELD

 

While you’re here, don’t forget to make the short trip up Whitney Portal Road and take the Self Guided Tour of Movie Road to get a first-hand look at real shooting locations of a great many of the motion pictures filmed in the beautiful Alabama Hills.

Lone Pine is a full-service town, offering several excellent motels, restaurants, a variety of retail stores and many other visitor conveniences. The Interagency Visitor Center, located south of town at the intersection of Highways 136 and 395, is an excellent source of information as is the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce, located on Main Street.

 

The Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine is a popular spot. PHOTO BY AARON CRUTCHFIELD

 

The cemetery is seen at Manzanar National Historic Site north of Lone Pine. PHOTO BY AARON CRUTCHFIELD