Lone Pine, California doesn’t look like much at first. It’s a dusty desert town of a few thousand, on highway 395, on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevadas. There might still be only one traffic light. So what makes it a great vacation destination?
The Lone Pine Film Festival
Here are some of the movies filmed in this part of California: Gunga Din, How The West Was Won, Star Trek, Tremors, Springfield Rifle, Joshua Tree, Gladiator, and Maverick. John Wayne, Gene Autry, Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, William Boyd, and dozens of other movie stars have all spent time in Lone Pine. Television series filmed here include The Lone Ranger, Have A Gun, Bonanza, and Wagon Train. Spend much time in Lone Pine, and later, when you’re watching movies at home, you’ll find yourself saying “Hey I’ve been there.”
More than 200 movies, and numerous television series have been filmed in and around the area. The Lone Pine Film Festival, which is held in early October every year, features the classics, as well as more recent films. If you watch many movies, you can see familiar movie scenery any time of the year.
The Alabama Hills
Drive a few minutes south of Lone Pine, turn west, and you’ll find the Alabama Hills, one of the most unique geological areas you’ll ever see. Rounded and smooth rocks are piled up in the most amazing formations. You may recognize some of the scenery from old westerns. On the south side of town, at the visitors center, you can get free maps that will guide you to rock arches, caves and other sights. You’ll have to walk into mazes of rocks to get to the better ones.