Car Camping & Exploring California's Highway 395, 11/24/17 - 11/25/17

Posted by Adventure 16 | 11.28.2017

by Jay Golien, A16 Designer


Highway 395 travels north and south in California’s Owens Valley. East of the Sierra Nevada and West of the White Mountains. Outdoor activities abound: camping, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, fishing and horseback riding. Good times are had by all!

View of Mt. Whitney from Lone Pine Olas Creative

View of Mt. Whitney from Lone Pine Olas Creative

I made a last minute decision on Thanksgiving to pack some gear and head north to CA Highway 395 and explore Lone Pine and Alabama hills. I was inspired to grab gear and go by an article titled “How She Rolls” (It's a rude, happy awakening when Grandma road-trips better than you) 

Shark's fin climbing spot in Alabama Hills  Olas Creative

Shark's fin climbing spot in Alabama Hills  Olas Creative

Lone Pine is about 300 miles from San Diego and with light traffic I made the drive under 5 hours. My first stop was the Lone Pine Visitor’s Center is located at the south edge of town. The main attraction for the area is Mt. Whitney and the Eastern Sierras. As soon as you hit town, there they are looming large & in charge. I spent most of the next 2 days in awe, viewing the Sierras.

Dispersed camping in Alabama Hills  Olas Creative

Dispersed camping in Alabama Hills  Olas Creative

Playing second Fiddle to Mt. Whitney, are the Alabama Hills. Since 1920, Hollywood has used the rock formations as a backdrop for over 400 movies. Today, Hiking, Mountain biking, Rock climbing and Horseback riding are popular activities. There is also dispersed, (free, non-marked) camping there. From Lone Pine, Whitney Portal Road is the main entrance to Mt. Whitney, the Alabama Hills and area campgrounds.

Area campgrounds include Tuttle Creek, Lone Pine CG, and Whitney Portal CG. I stayed at Tuttle Creek, $8/night, no water, pit toilets.

Mobius Arch in Alabama Hills  Olas Creative

Mobius Arch in Alabama Hills  Olas Creative


Camping at the base of the Sierras with a view of Owens Valley and the White Mountains to the East.


It was a spontaneous road trip, I didn’t overpack. I lived off of Clif Bars, oatmeal, crackers and chicken salad all weekend.


Patagonia: Lowpro Trucker Hat, Organic Cotton Tee, Slopeside Hoody, Long Underwear

Mountain Hardware Down Jacket

Teva Beanie

Smartwool Socks

Marmot Sleeping Bag

Luci Lights

Jetboil Stove

GSI Java Press 

Hydroflask 10oz. Cup

Yeti 20oz. Rambler Cup

Clif Bars