The Alabama Hills got their name in honor of a southern battleship in the Civil War. The hills are located just west of Lone Pine, a small community that is gateway to both Whitney Portal and Death Valley. Since the 1920s, hundreds of movies, especially westerns and sci-fi thrillers, have been filmed in the region. While this range of hills appears very unique compared to the Sierras to the west of it, the hills are actually part of the same geologic formation. There are two main types of rock seen in Alabama Hills. One is an orange, drab weathered metamorphosed volcanic rock rock that is 150-200 million years old. The other type of rock exposed here is 82- to 85-million-year-old biotite monzogranite which weathers to potato-shaped large boulders, many of which stand on end due to weathering patterns acting on many nearly vertical joints in the rock.
If you like rock formations that you can view with the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the background, this is the place for you. We made a number of trips to photograph the hills and found that the lighting, the clouds and the interesting terrain assured us of a different view around every corner. I am posting photographs of the arches of Alabama Hills separately.