California: Sierras: Alabama Hills, Western Film / History
47 images Created 15 Aug 2015
The photogenic Alabama Hills are a BLM Recreation Area on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the Owens Valley, west of Lone Pine in Inyo County, California. The Alabama Hills are a popular filming location for television and movie productions (such as Gunga Din, Gladiator, Iron Man, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), especially Westerns (Tom Mix films, Hopalong Cassidy films, The Gene Autry Show, The Lone Ranger, Bonanza, How the West Was Won, and Joe Kidd). Two main types of rock are exposed at Alabama Hills: 1) orange, drab weathered metamorphosed volcanic rock 150-200 million years old; and 2) 82- to 85-million-year-old biotite monzogranite which weathers to potato-shaped large boulders. The striking Mobius Arch frames Mount Whitney (14,505 feet or 4421 m elevation), the highest summit in the contiguous United States and the Sierra Nevada. The Eastern California Museum in Independence is worth visiting to see fascinating old machinery and historical artifacts from building the controversial Los Angeles Aqueduct.