Eastern Sierra : Lone Pine
Lone Pine is in the extreme southern part of the Owens Valley. The tallest mountain in the contiguous United States is Mount Whitney, which is easily seen from Lone Pine by just looking up.
One of the most filmed and photographed landscapes in the county is found surrounding Lone Pine. West of town are the Alabama Hills, named by locals who were Southern sympathizers during the American Civil War. This collection of irregular, ruddy, windswept boulders backed by a horizon of Sierra peaks, has been the backdrop for countless Hollywood films from Gunga Din, to Gladiator, to Rawhide, to How the West Was Won. It’s where Roy Rogers first mounted Trigger and where Tom Mix performed his amazing horseback stunts. Lone Pine has been seen in so many movies, that it has commemorated its fame by hosting the annual Lone Pine Film Festival. The Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History preserves the motion picture history of Inyo County with film memorabilia, cars, western carriages and an 84-seat theater.
US 395 north from Los Angeles.
At least a dozen eating establishments exist in Lone Pine to cater to a variety of food tastes. Generally the restaurants err on the side of American and Italian fare. If you are staying a few days, it is recommended to try several of the establishments to better experience local cuisine.
Lone Pine exists is a desert climate, so expect dry weather and extreme heat in the summertime. Drink lots of water (and eat a bit of food to help absorb it), and make ample use of the shade.
If you are stranded on the road outside of Lone Pine, be aware that little to no facilities exist outside of city limits. You may have to walk, flag a passing motorist for assistance (take care with this advice), or use a cell phone to get help. Local law enforcement consists of county sheriffs and Inyo National Forest Rangers.
Los Angeles' acquisition of water rights has dried up Owens Lake (south of town), which once was similar in character to Mono Lake. Dust storms now rage during windy times. If the wind is in just the right direction, Lone Pine gets dusted. This alkali dust is not good for your health, though it is worse for the health of the citizens of Lone Pine who must endure it constantly. You can probably safely ignore this warning unless you suffer from conditions like asthma or allergies.