Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
290.00 ft (88.39 m)
Trail type
1.70 mi (2.74 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 Shark Fin Loop trail is an easily accessed route inside the Alabama Hills area. Following a dirt course that is partially dedicated trail, and partially infrequently travelled gravel double track, the path circles several boulder outcroppings, including the Shark Fin rock, as it gains in elevation and opens up wide vistas of the area before the gradual decline back toward the trailhead.

The shark fin rock is a popular climbing destination given the picturesque views of Mt Whitney and the Sierra range behind it. The picturesque scenery applies equally to those walking the easy path that circles the rock features. Beginning at a dirt pullout, the trail is signed and prohibits motorized vehicles. This trail is a straight shot to the boulders, beyond which the trail ends, and the route joins gravel double track as it climbs a little bit more. Ulitimately wrapping around the boulders, the track circles back down, and with the elevated perspective of the area, the otherwordly scenery of the Alabama Hills is unmistakable. 

The trail is easy. At 1.7 miles, there are no technical spots. It does suffer from the lack of signage in the area, however the absence of these park-like amenities may be what keeps the Alabama Hills relatively uncrowded. For visitors, however, it means that you should plan on not having cel service, and come prepared with navigation aids not reliant on signal.

There are no amenities in the area aside from a few vault toilets. All food and water must be brought in, and is readily available in the town of Lone Pine. Also, depending on conditions, there may be no shade along this trail.

There are no fees to visit. The Alabama Hills is a surreally picturesque area, and those visiting should plan intentionally on visiting during the more dramatic visual conditions like mornings or evenings, as it elevates the experience as a whole.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Scenic route.


No shade. No water.

Trailhead Elevation

4,580.00 ft (1,395.98 m)

Highest point

4,840.00 ft (1,475.23 m)


Vault toilet
Backcountry camping
Horseback riding
Big vistas
Geologically significant
Family friendly

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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


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