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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Bored with a sustained cold streak and cabin fever I took off for an impromptu camping trip to Alabama Hills on New Years Day. I detoured to my favorite drive-by hot springs on the way, figuring I would only see 104 degrees if I got a fever for real.



Here is a quick video of the conventional sights one can see wandering around Movie Road and the sets for many a western and Hollywood production needing a Himalayan looking backbdrop like Gunga Din.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
There are many dozens of fabulous primitive campsites scattered around, as well as a nice official campground a little removed. I have a preferred place with nice sunrise views set amongst the intriguingly eroded landforms. Later I range farther afield and other multiple users show up like slackliners, droid operators on scooters, free climbers and technical mountaineers practicing setting protection. No other motos, mountain bikes, jeeps, etc., more like families, climbers and photographers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not wishing to annoy others with TW's mild exhaust note I ranged farther away into a nearby mining district. Some roads still remain unvisited since they fall off into deep canyons with no guarantee of a safe exit into the Owens Valley across a major canal taking water to Southern California. Lots of weathered honey colored wood and rusted iron. BLM has safely closed off most of the abandoned shafts and addits but there are still a few openings on active claims.


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Discussion Starter #4
Numerous eye pleasing outcrops pop up here and there although most are concentrated bracketing Movie Road. However nice singletracks lead to several more distant eroded remains, some with nice bull quartz veining.


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Discussion Starter #6
Anyways had a good little vacation. Managed to work off five pounds of Holiday fat, either through all the scampering around, a healthier camp diet, or just a lot of shivering. It was colder than predicted.
 

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always great seeing betty boop wandering afar. beautiful pics, is that quartz vein pointing to the highest point in the lower 48?
 

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Anyways had a good little vacation. Managed to work off five pounds of Holiday fat, either through all the scampering around, a healthier camp diet, or just a lot of shivering. It was colder than predicted.

Holy Moly, you took some awesome pictures. I'm no pictureologist but man, there's some great pictures of the area.




One of my TW favorites


You know I love the mines...


Capture from your first video. I bet this feels so neat. Almost like riding through an alley in a city...but way better.
Alabama Hills.PNG

Single track looks pretty fun. Just gotta watch me toes so I don't hit one of them bouldery looking boulders.

Thanks for sharing Fred.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Am about ready to go back the place is so scenic!
The row of dragon's teeth growing out of the boulder is actually an aplite dyke and several examples can be found here and there...an intresting look.
However the mountains in the background are a few miles south of Mt. Whitney and are a couple thousand feet lower, high point is Peak 3,681m? (12,077feet). Whitney Portal paved road leads up to the treeline at lower right photo's corner, a bit over 10,000 ft. and an absolute blast on the TW. whitney names.jpg
dyke.jpg

Being deeply weathered in place much of the feldspars have chemically weathered away leaving the quartz mineral component behind as almost a residual placer. Makes for good reflections off the crystal faces. The iron stained bull quartz was found in big chunks lying on the surface in arroyos.

Either way as the feldspars weathers away it leaves the granite rock faces with pebbly little quartz protrusions making for awesome traction when on rocking' on either on the bike on scrambling around on foot.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Certainly very easy for a small group. Spacious, flat & accessible camp spots for three or four the typical camper/trailer combo most seem to favor are common. Number of sites for a larger collection of vehicles is fewer but they exist, plus any dispersed campers can always come together.
Issue could be one of being good neighbors to other multiple users as the immediate area seems to be being discovered. I used to come mid-week off season and have very few neighbors so had no concerns riding all over. Our group rides tend to be on weekends though when visitation peaks. I just feel it is impolite to charge up some of these access roads into the outcrops and grottos if one can see other campers ahead, plus in open country a little sound carries a long ways. Other than some kid on a motorized skateboard being chased by a drone, and 4x4 RC car tracks no one else was enjoying any motorsports.
That said there are many hours of riding on the mining, ranching and high country access roads if one considers the Alabama Hills core as primarily a camp and staging point.
One can easily burn 60 plus miles of assault up both Whitney Portal and the Horseshoe Meadows access roads terminating around 10,000 ft at mountaineering and Golden Trout Wilderness pack-trip trailheads. Gorgeous scenery surrounds you as pick up a mile of elevation on each in one long continuous climb. Proves unmolested carbs can take some big elevation changes without worry. I've done both one December but typically these two roads are gated for the winter months.
Bigger groups could tour these and other areas like the single tracks and mine roads. The pediment seems is fairly sandy rather than clay or silt and thus hopefully is not too dusty in drier weather.
The winter mountain pass closures makes getting to the east side of sierras a bit of a drive for some. I always figured going to the Alabama Hills would make a great excuse for so many of the coastal Californians to finally drive/ride through Yosemite and over Tioga Pass to Mono Lake and beyond.
Who's game?
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
That is called Mobius Arch, a fairly famous feature I visited for the first time. I spied it from one of the motorcycle singletracks, parked and made a short hike across fragile cryptobiotic soils to visit. Bad Fred, suppose I should have followed an official trail and not stepped on all those invisible helpless micro-organisms. Freeze-thaw frost heave cycles will make my footprints disappear though.
 

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There are many dozens of fabulous primitive campsites scattered around, as well as a nice official campground a little removed. I have a preferred place with nice sunrise views set amongst the intriguingly eroded landforms. Later I range farther afield and other multiple users show up like slackliners, droid operators on scooters, free climbers and technical mountaineers practicing setting protection. No other motos, mountain bikes, jeeps, etc., more like families, climbers and photographers.
Great way to start the year! Need to ride this area!
OK question tho - who's the jumper in 3rd and 4rth pic lol?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Mid-evening the first night a fellow walked into my rockbound camp and asked if this was the location for the big slackline meet. Huh?
In following days more of these adventuresome types arrived and started rigging slacklines between various high points. My camp was below and a few hundred feet beyond the one in the third picture so I could hear the folks as they occasionally fell . They would dangle six feet below the slackline from a safety tether then climb back onto the main slack line. Impressive strength and skill. The forth picture was another slackline rigged a quarter mile away. Friendly folks too.
 
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