November 12-16, 2017
My last visit to Alabama Hills during late winter, the Sierras wore a blanket of white providing a stark backdrop to the ever changing light and colors of the sculptural granite boulders below. This fall visit to meet a friend and make photos brought the first snow on the Eastern Sierras for the coming winter.
After a few days camping at Kelso Dunes I spent one night near Fossil Falls, a convenient place to disperse camp for free on the way to Alabama Hills. In the morning I continued to Lone Pine, California which took me past the almost dried up Owens Lake, basically a salt flat. Met a friend at the Eastern Sierras multi-agency visitor center. Then we headed to a camp at Alabama Hills in a different location than where I’ve stayed before.
Yet I found a sun warmed rock to sit on, looking for shapes and faces in the boulders. (Thanks for the photo Tom.)
Sunset wasn’t very exciting so we retreated to Tom’s RV where he made dinner and we chatted the evening away.
Once in the Inyo National Forest camping is allowed only in campgrounds like the Lone Pine which I drove through and was open for free during winter with about 35 medium-sized sites and maybe open bathrooms.
I continued up the curvy Portal Road a few more miles to a nice wide pull off right before the pavement turned to gravel. Lucky me even found a signal so I took care of some business and had lunch with a view of the valley below. I love when that happens.
When returning to the bouldery BLM of Alabama Hills I stayed a little closer to the highway and found a nice camp with a signal and some views too. There are many options for parking either near the boulders or in the open where I prefer and none are usually very level.
Eventually the clouds dropped over the mountain peaks until Whitney was out of sight. I watched the weather online and saw that possible wind and wet was on it’s way which meant I would be leaving soon too.