The Alabama Hills Recreation Area is made up of large rock formations sitting in the high desert below the Eastern Sierra Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management manages the 30,000-acres of high desert land. There are two types of rock that make up the hills. An orange metamorphosed volcanic rock that is 150-200 million years old, and biotite monzogranite that is 82 to 85 million years old and forms the large round boulders shaped by spheroidal weathering. These spherical boulders provide plentiful bouldering opportunities, and some of the bigger rock provides sport and trad routes.
The Alabama Hills are known for their long history as settings for film and movies, hence the main access road’s name, “Movie Road.” Alabama Hills is a great place to spend the night for free in any of the dispersed campsites while on your way to hike the shadowing Mount Whitney or other destinations in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Besides climbing, you can also enjoy day hiking in the high desert. Watch for unique features such as granite arches. To avoid the heat during warmer months, be sure to climb earlier or later in the day. These are also great times to catch the beautiful sunsets and sunrises of the Eastern Sierra.