Working my way south from Washington state to my winter destination in Southern California I decided to take the US 395 corridor which runs along the east side of the state of California. Friends of mine and cohosts at the lighthouse this summer, Carl and Janna (thanks guys for the great info) had told me about this wonderful location along this peaceful route southward. So taking their advice I set several days aside to dry camp in this area. There are a lot of free camping spots throughout this area. I decided to stay at a BML campground called “Tuttle Creek” just outside the town of Lone Pine. The campground has pit toilets and freshwater in several locations throughout the park, a dump station and also picnic tables and fire rings at each site. At only four dollars a night with my seniors pass I decided this would be a great spot for five or six nights. Just look at the views from the campsite.
The beautiful jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada’s to the West.
And the Inyo Mountains to the east, if you continue further due east, you reach Death Valley just on the other side of this mountain range.
I got in just before dark chose a spot in set up for the night. I did not realize till the next day, when Maxine and I went for a walk that there is a rather fast-moving stream running through the whole campground. As you can see in this photo there’s a lot of water moving all the time.
But as you look all you see is desert all around you except for the greenery right along the creek.
As you look off towards the mountains you can see right where the stream comes out of the hills. It always amazes me how the spring fed Creeks seem to come from nowhere.
The big geological formation of rounded rocks called the Alabama Hills are the big attraction in this area.
In the valley between the two mountain ranges lies this unique area. Which is been sought after by the Hollywood movie industry. For many years dating back to the early 1920s. There have been over 400 movies and many TV series have been filmed in these hills, along with thousands of commercials. Look at some of these photos and see the unique rock structures.
This area reminds me a lot of the City of Rocks State campground in New Mexico, that I visited a couple years ago. You can find a link to that blog here.
There are several spots that there are plaques commemorating different films that were shot in these hills.
The nice thing for the modern-day RV Explorer is you can boondock right amongst these beautiful hills. Maxine and I went out exploring to look for some great spots to maybe move to later. You can tell from these photos there’s many to be had.
There were plenty of open areas for all size vehicles.
And with a little exploring you can find some rock arches in the area.
Maxine wandered around the corner ahead of me and found this bigger one, the most famous in the area called “Mobius Arch”.
She found a comfortable spot to lay down in the shade.
And then made herself a new friend right away, of this nice lady.
If you stand in just the right spot you get a beautiful frame view of “Lone Pine Mountain” in the distance.
The lady and her husband that befriended Maxine told, me I should check out Whitney Portal which is just a few miles up the road from this area. So after doing some more exploring we jumped in the car and took about a 9 mile drive basically straight up the mountain. We climbed up about 5000 feet of elevation to get to nearly 9000 feet. Where you get high in the tree line.
This is where a national forest developed area called Whitney Portal it consists of a campground several parking areas and even some rental cabins. This is the point that people can drive to that want to climb up to Mount Whitney Summit the highest mountain in the continuous 48 states at 14,505 feet.
As we started back down I stopped several places to take pictures of the valley. In this one you can see the Inyo Mountains often the far distance.
This one the Alabama Hills are right in the center of the valley you can tell how far we climbed up the mountains in just a few miles.
Here I zoomed in on the Alabama Hills.
In this one I’m looking to the south east, to where the campground is that we’re staying at.
And if you zoom in, the “Littles White Specks” that are in the center of the photo are the RV’s at the campground.
One other stop in our exploring of this area, that we came across was “Manzanar National Historic Site”. I did not really know what this site entailed until I got there and started exploring. Manzanar was a Japanese Internment Camp during World War II. I remember hearing about these places somewhat as a child but never really studied them in school. This is kind of a black mark against our nation and us as human beings in general. It always amazes me how fear and prejudice causes us as human beings to do these injustice. For those of you that do not know at the start of World War II thousands of U. S. American citizens ,of Japanese ancestry were rounded up, supposedly for their own protection and sent to these internment camps for years without due process. Most of these people were from the western coastal states. Some were first-generation immigrants but a great deal of them were born in this country and were US citizens. I did not take any photos because I didn’t think it was respectful. This is one of those strong emotional places that reminders me of the injustices that people do against each other. I can understand how this happened through fear and anger of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. And at the time many felt it was for their own safety which it probably was, but it still wasn’t right. It wasn’t until the 1970s that official apologies were made by the US government for these injustices. I’m sure we all have our own opinions of this and if you want to read more about this there are many websites like this link to explore. That’s all I have to say about this spot but it did move me considerably. I still have a few more days to do some exploring in this area. So I’ll see what else I come up with, thanks for following along till next time, Rick
Excellent post, Rick. I used to think those rocks on Bonanza looked fake, but they really are out there!
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The Lone Ranger Canyon is in these hills and they filmed parts if Star Trek & Iron Man here too.😎
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what a fantastic spot I am absolutely adding that to my list of places to visit!! Thanks for sharing it
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It sure is a cool area.
[…] at Tuttle Creek campground where I had stayed this past fall. You can read more about it in my previous post here. A fresh dusting of snow came overnight leaving this beautiful view of the mountains as the morning […]