Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
90.00 ft (27.43 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
1.40 mi (2.25 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Backcountry Arch Loop traces a portion of the Arch Loop which is probably the most popular hiking trail in the Alabama Hills area, passing by Mobius Arch, along with a couple others. The Backcountry Loop veers from this shorter trail, and combines trail with backcountry walking to visit a couple other features that see far fewer visitors.

Beginning at the Arch Loop parking area, there are two trailheads - leaving the trail from the left portion of the parking lot will head first to Lathe Arch and Mobius Arch, which are located beside each other, before heading off trail and into the landscape as the route makes its way toward the tall rock field to the north. Baseball Bat Arch and Space Case Arch are located about 15 feet away from one another. Reaching these arches is the hardest part of the hike, as they remain hidden amidst the rock field with no clear path leading to them.

Owing to the hard to find location, our suggestion is to leave from the right side of the parking area, which follows the Arch Loop Trail to Heart Arch, a heart shaped hole in the stone which is visible from the parking area. Beyond Heart Arch, hikers can follow the marked Alabama Hills Trail as it heads east until reaching a dirt pullout. Veering north into the backcountry from this parking area leads to Shark's Tooth Arch. 

Beyond here, walking cross country heads toward Baseball Bat Arch and Space Case Arch. 

At 1.4 miles total, the hike isn't far, however some sort of navigation is essential to finding the off-trail arches. 

Hikers should be aware that hiking off trail passes over sensitive habitat, and should be careful to stick to walking on dirt and not disturbing the desert plant growth.

There is no water available in the Alabama Hills area. Vault toilets are located at the entrance to Movie Road. Cel phone service is very very limited. All amenities are available in the town of Lone Pine.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Get to see less popular arches and features.

Cons

Can be hard to find the arches.

Trailhead Elevation

4,615.00 ft (1,406.65 m)

Highest point

4,680.00 ft (1,426.46 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Historically significant
Big vistas
Geologically significant
Family friendly

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California

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