Boondocking in Alabama Hills, California

Guest blog by Keng

The following was posted on October 22, 2016 by Keng as he and David explore and boondock in some of California’s most scenic locations. Check out his blog here

Last week we finally got to visit and dry-camp in the Alabama Hills. The Alabama Hills are located just outside on the west side of the town of Lone Pine, California in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. The area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), so it’s a federal land. Both day-use and camping in the Alabama Hills are free, except in designated BLM campgrounds. It’s a popular spot for boondocking among RVers.

The Alabama Hills with Sierra Nevada Range in the background
The Alabama Hills with Sierra Nevada Range in the background

I originally planned for us to be in the Alabama Hills for about one week. Due to several unexpected vehicle services when we were in Oregon, Washoe Lake State Park, and Bishop, we only had 3 days there before having to be in Death Valley National Park.

Since it was our first time in the area, we didn’t know what to expect in terms of the road condition for Stimpy to navigate. We also weren’t sure how difficult or easy it was to find a decent spot. We stopped by a Visitor Center in the town of Bishop and got a map of the area, a very useful information. It answered a question that I had about where we can and cannot camp. I found a website that has the map here. It puzzles me why it’s not readily available on BLM website, at least I wasn’t able to find it.

When we arrived in the Alabama Hills, we were cautious to use Ren to scout out spots that might work and to look for potential place for Stimpy to turnaround. It turned out to be relatively easy to find our boondocking spot that was away from the main road. Here are photos of our boondocking spot.

Our boondocking spot
Our boondocking spot
View of our boondocking spot from the top of a boulder pile nearby
View of our boondocking spot from the top of a boulder pile nearby

According to the BLM brochure, the rounded granite rocks of the Alabama Hills were a result of a type of erosion called chemical weathering. The surface of these boulders is very coarse and not slippery. It is very easy to climb or walk on, especially, for those without climbing skills like me. The contrast of the Alabama Hills landscape and the peaks of the Sierra Mountains is quite impressive.

Mt Whitney from our boondocking spot
Mt Whitney from our boondocking spot
These cacti are thriving around the areas with less crowd. It's fun to discover them.
These cacti are thriving around the areas with less crowd. It’s fun to discover them.
Admiring the view of the Alabama Hills and the Sierra Nevada
Admiring the view of the Alabama Hills and the Sierra Nevada
Outdoor kitchen with a view
Outdoor kitchen with a view
Cloud looming over the Sierra
Cloud looming over the Sierra

The sunsets here were beautiful. We only spent 3 nights at the Alabama Hills this time. We will be back.

A dramatic sky as the weather was changing
A dramatic sky as the weather was changing
Fiery Sunset over Mt Whitney
Fiery Sunset over Mt Whitney
Pretty sunset in Alabama Hills
Pretty sunset in the Alabama Hill

Read more of Bob Difley’s posts on the Good Sam Blog and on his Gizmos & Gadgets blog on the RV Travel network of blogs. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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