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Lone Pine Lake and 10,000 ft. atitude

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Mt. Whitney is the tallest mountain in the US, and there is a hiking trail to the summit.  Special permission is required, but not for the first 1/3, so we decided to give it a go today.  What a great hike, and experience!  The drive itself was fascinating, as you can see the road that take you to the Portal, at 8,350 ft.  From there, it is a 3 mile hike, all uphill, to Lone Pine Lake.

This is definitely mountain terrain, so some care is required.  However, it wasn’t that difficult, even the altitude — we topped out just over 10,000 feet.  The lake was spectacular!  We met lots of people on day hikes (like us) as well as those on the way up to, or coming from, the summit.

After the hike, we had a lunch at a local diner, then went for a tour of the Alabama Mountains.  These are really very rocky foothills, and a favorite area to make movies and TV shows, particularly westerns.  Stars such as Gene Autry, Roy Rodgers, Humphrey Bogart, Chuck Norris, Mel Gibson, Randolph Scott and many more.  Classic movies such as High Sierra, Maverick, Gunga Din, Lone Ranger, How the West was Won, and Tremors were filmed here.  An interesting side trip, although we ran out of time to visit the (supposedly excellent) Movie Museum in town.

Mt. Whitney, viewed from our RV in the park

Check out the road to the Portal - that's steep!

Magnificent scenery on the road to the Portal

Ready to start the hike

On the trail, heading up the mountain

Crossing Lone Pine Creek - don't slip!

Looking back down the valley. We started WAY down there!

Looking up the mountain. See the moon?

There you go: above 10,000 ft.

A view of Lone Pine Lake. Relaxing break before we head back

Add a little log walking to the challenge

Heading back down. Hard to keep your eyes on the trail!

Another view downhill

The Alabama Mountains, from Movie Lane

Romola viewed through the lower arch

Classic Whitney-through-the-arch shot