What do Gunga Din, Superman, Gladiator, Tarantula, Star Trek, Tremors, Kalifornia and hundreds of other films have in common? One or more scenes shot amidst the tan-colored, potato-shaped, biotite-rich granitic rocks that make up the area between Mt. Whitney and Lone Pine, California. The Alabama Hills are like a gigantic playground full of rounded boulders, hidden paths, easy climbing, scenic arches, and spectacular views of the eastern Sierras. As a bonus, the area is also an amazing place to make a wide variety of images, from closeups, to intricate scenics, to sweeping panoramas.
The port of entry to the Alabama Hills area is Lone Pine. If you come from the south, make a left (west) at the downtown light, onto Whitney Portal Road and drive for a little over two miles until you come to Movie Road. Turn right or north and you’re there. Pass the welcome sign and keep going until the road makes a T. Turn left and park in the lot on the left. Start hiking and looking for several arches that can be seen and photographed from various directions depending on the sun.