My job took me up to Lone Pine, CA for a night. Lone Pine is a tiny town east of the Inyo National Forest in Inyo County with a population just over 2,000. About a 3 1/2 hour drive north from Los Angeles, you veer to the east of Sequoia National Forest as you head up that way. It’s an incredible drive with a beautiful view, and along the way you can find many outdoor attractions. The popular snowboard and ski stop,Mammoth, is further north from Lone Pine. The small town sits near the Alabama Hills, which are a range of rock formations and hill used in many films. In fact, while I was driving up the mountain to the entrance for Mt. Whitney, they were filming a car commercial on the small mountain road.
I would have loved to have found a bed & breakfast to stay at, but because of the quick notice, I opted for the local Comfort Inn in town. The Comfort Inn was walking distance from the town center and offered a continental breakfast (score!).
I made sure to wake up extra early to get some wandering in before I had to head off and work for the day. The Receptionist at the hotel suggested a drive down Whitney Portal Road, when I explained I wanted a good scenic view in under 2 hours. Taking 395 North from my hotel, I made a left to head west on Whitney Portal Drive towards the Alabama Mountains.
The view was absolutely stunning. There weren’t any short hikes, so I ended up driving most of the time and pulling over for pictures. I took this road until it curved to start heading up the mountain. I wanted to get to Mt. Whitney, just to say I did of course. The road curved around the hills with the most scenic of views. I had to stop multiple times to take a look.
Once I arrived at the Mt. Whitney entrance, I stepped outside and noticed snow! I’m from Chicago, but this was the first time I’d seen it in Los Angeles. The temperature had dropped at least 5 to 10 degrees up at the top, and it sure was beautiful!
The same road brings you back down and to Whitney Portal Road. I ran into 5 or more deer once I reached the bottom. I’m told there are some wonderful hikes in the area by a couple of the locals. The town is small and food options are limited. This is definitely a trip for the outdoors type of person, but a beautiful one at that!
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