Welcome to Inyo County, home to the highest and lowest point in the continental United States and to Lone Pine, one of Hollywood's favorite filming destinations.
Located about three hours north of Hollywood, and nestled in the foothills of the Eastern Sierra Mountains, the town of Lone Pine, California and the nearby Alabama Hills have been the locations for hundreds of films, commercials and television shows.
Named after a solitary pine tree that once stood at the mouth of Lone Pine Canyon, this small California town's roots stretch back into the Old West — and Hollywood's Wild West, too.
Back in the mid-1800s, Lone Pine was founded to supply local miners with provisions. Farmers and ranchers followed, and after that, the Carson Colorado Railroad pulled into town. Today, the only part of pre-1870 Lone Pine that's still standing is a portion of an old adobe wall that stands behind the local coffee shop. A few miles to the east, you can wander among the decaying ghost-town ruins of Cerro Gordo.
Since the early years of filmmaking, directors, actors, producers and their production units large and small have packed up and left Hollywood for the great outdoors. One glance at the Alabama Hills, and you'll remember a host of immortal movie scenes. Then & Now
Approaching the 100th anniversary of The Roundup (1920), the first documented film produced in the area, Lone Pine has played host to hundreds of the industry's best known directors and actors, among them directors William Wyler, John Ford, George Stephens and William Wellman; and actors as diverse as John Wayne, Bing Crosby, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Downey, Jr., and Kevin Bacon. For movie buffs and television viewers around the world these hills in the Owens Valley have portrayed the wilds of the American West (Bad Day at Black Rock, 1954), the valleys of the Himalayas (Gunga Din, 1939), and the Arabian Desert (Iron Man, 2008).
Productions such as Tremors and Joshua Tree, were filmed at "movie ranch" sites known as Movie Flats and Movie Flat Road. In Gladiator, actor Russell Crowe rides a horse in front of the Alabamas, with Mount Whitney in the background, for a scene presumably set in Spain. Star Trek Generations was filmed here in addition to Overton, Nevada and Paramount. This range was one of the filming locations for Disney's Dinosaur. More recently, many parts of the films Iron Man and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen were filmed here with continuing productions including Tarantino's, Django Unchained and, Disney's, The Lone Ranger.
To walk on the dirty concrete sidewalk of Hollywood Blvd is one thing. To come to Lone Pine, and cover the same ground as John Wayne, Hoot Gibson, and Buck Jones — well, that's another. It's a lot prettier, and it's a lot more inspiring. Grab a horse from a local pack outfit, and you'll feel like the Duke himself.
Hollywood connections are still alive and well; mostly because the Lone Pine area remains pristine and unspoiled. The preservation and documentation provided at the Museum of Western Film History enhances the experience.
A millennia of wind, snow and eons of wind-blown sand have blasted across the 30,000 acres of public land to create the crisply sculptured ridges of the Sierra now called Alabama Hills Recreation Area.
Located at the base of Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States, the Alabama Hills gather their name from a Confederate warship, responsible for wreaking havoc during the Civil War. Prospectors sympathetic to the Confederate cause named their mining claims after the Alabama and eventually the name stuck to these unique hills. Photographers come from all over the country to photograph this amazing view.
Whether you are here for movie history, the Sierra views, unique geological formations, identifying native plant life, investigating ancient pictographs and petroglyphs or photography, this area offers a variety of activities, including auto/motorcycle touring, camping, fishing, hiking, hunting and OHV use. Several self-guided interpretive brochures can be found online, including the Movie Road Self-Guided Tour, featuring "Real Movie Locations That You Can Find" containing pictures, a map and a short narration about each site and the movie that was filmed there. Ten historic movie locations, from "Gunga Din" to "How the West Was Won" to "Rawhide" are covered.
The Museum of Western Film History, founded in 2006, is America’s premier institution of Western Film history honoring the men and women of the silver screen who interpret the lives of the American Cowboy; the legendary iconic heroes and heroines of America’s 19th and 20th centuries. Founded in 2006 the museum, located in Lone Pine, California collects, preserves and exhibits a broad and diverse collection of western film memorabilia associated with the American western film genre. Film programs, artifact preservation and exhibits, including interpretive projects and displays, provide narrative support for the movies, actors, directors and producers and importantly, the landscapes that served as a canvas for their stories. The Museum's introductory film, Lone Pine; Where the Real West Becomes the Reel West, provides background on films made in the area.
Come visit - Lone Pine, a gateway to Great Adventure for all film and outdoor enthusiasts.
It didn’t take long after the invention of moving pictures for Hollywood to discover a spectacular location within a few hours’ drive. Since the early years of filmmaking, directors and their production units have used the Lone Pine and Eastern Sierra area to represent the iconic American West. The first documented feature film shot entirely on location at Lone Pine was The Roundup (1920), a silent Western starring Fatty Arbuckle in his first feature film which made good use of the incredible scenery near Lone Pine, with the weirdly eroded, jumbled rocks of the Alabama Hills (name for a Civil War battleship- CSS Alabama) backed by the snowcapped peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Dozens of Natural Arches are among the main attractions at the Alabama Hills. They can be accessed by short hikes from the Whitney Portal Road, the Movie Flat Road and the Horseshoe Meadows Road. Climbers: See Summit Post. Among the notable features of the area are: Mobius Arch, Lathe Arch, the Eye of Alabama and Whitney Portal Arch. Movies, Geology, History - Read More
Horse Back Riding: In all seasons the Alabama Hills offer captivating scenery. From fall movie history, winter's sweeping vistas and snow capped Sierra backdrops to spring wildflower shows you can see it all riding Horseback through the Alabama Hills. For More Information, Click here:
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To find additional accommodations near The Museum of Western Film History,
Starting just east of Los Angeles, in the Mojave Desert, U.S. 395 provides one of the great drives in the United States. It begins in the high desert of Southern California, and ends at the Canadian border. In-between, Route 395 crosses some of the most desolate land in California, as well as taking you to high elevations and some of the most magnificent mountain views in the world, where the Sierra Nevada range stretches high from the desert floor, with the lower 48's highest peak looming above the town of Lone Pine.
|Owens Lake is a mostly dry lake in the Owens Valley on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada in Inyo County, California. It is about 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Lone Pine, California. Unlike most dry lakes in the Basin and Range Province that have been dry for thousands of years, Owens held significant water until 1924 Much of the Owens River was diverted into the Los Angeles Aqueduct, causing Owens Lake to desiccate. Today, some of the flow of the river has been restored, and the lake now contains some water. In 2015 the Owens Lake will be open to the public for driving routes to trails, viewing platforms, kiosks for information and more. Owens Lake- Past, Present & Future - Wildlife & Birds Return!
Well worth Listening to......................
There It Is—Take It! is a self-guided car audio tour through Owens Valley, California along U.S. Route 395 examining the Controversial social, political, and environmental history of the Los Angeles Aqueduct system.
Welcome to the High Passes, back reaches, side roads and hidden corners of the Eastern Sierra and Death Valley! Spectacularly scenic Inyo County, California has some of the most rugged and varied terrain in the nation. A great resource to travelers is the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center, a worthwihile stop, the center is located at the junction of US Highway 395 and State Route 136, one mile south of Lone Pine. Another good link for people who want to see it up close is Motor Touring in the Eastern Sierra, an upclose and personal guide on Eastern Sierra Adventure. Manzanar, in Independence, documents the governments internment of over 10,000 Japanese during WWII. And for the Anglers - see The Eastern Sierra Fishing Guide.
Sierra Nevada Mountains Facts: - Over 120 peaks are greater than 13,000 feet and of those 14 of 16 of California fourteeners are in the Sierra Nevada. Also see California's Fourteen Thousand Foot Peaks.
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