Winter Camping Attempt in Lone Pine


The weather had been pretty mild this winter. I decided to do overnight camping in Lone Pine in the Sierra Nevada. I’ve been wanting to check out Alabama Hills nearby so I decided to set up the camp in Lone Pine Campground and meander in Alabama Hills during the day.

We left home early on that Saturday morning in February and arrived at the campground at 10:30 AM. Since it was offseason, we had no problem getting a tent-only campsite right next to the creek. The view of Mt Whitney, the tallest mountain in the “lower 48” states, was spectacular against the blue sky

and if the water wasn’t icy cold, the creek was shallow and calm that Xena would have enjoyed playing in it.


Everything was going smoothly until we were driving down to Alabama Hills for some exploring before dinner. A thick hazy blanket of clouds started to roll in from the north.



The clouds brought in high wind. Maybe around 35 mph? It was difficult to stand still and my hair blew all over the place covering my vision. But it didn’t stop us. Alabama Hills was absolutely amazing!

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Then the temperature started to drop as time passed. By now, I started to have a second thought about camping. The high wind was the issue. After having fun climbing boulders for a while, we decided to visit the infamous Mobius Arch then back to the campsite.



Found Mobius Arch

When we got back to the campsite by dinner time, I was freezing cold and didn’t have guts to brave the cold windy night. My tent isn’t for winter camping. I just might die middle of the night, I thought. Yes, I was a bit dramatic but I wasn’t going to find out if that was true or not. It was hard but I decided to break down the camp. We broke down the camp into the dark and eventually drove down to the town. We were able to get a room at Best Western in Lone Pine. It was super windy at night and I woke up a couple times by the rattling windows. I was glad about the decision but still, I was disappointed. I missed camping.

Since we had a restful night, we got up early the next morning to go back to Mobius Arch to capture the sunrise. We layered up and off we went.

Xena patiently waited for the sunrise.


At first, Mt Whitney in the background lit up in multiple shades of gold.


It was chilly 27 degrees but it was nothing compared to the wind storm from yesterday. Whatever the crazy we have to deal with, my partner in crime always by my side.

On top of Lathe Arch

I want to see a sunrise like this every morning.



Mobius Arch
Sunburst through Eye of Alabama Hills Arch

I ended up catching a cold from this trip and was sick for a week but it could’ve been a lot worse if I was stubborn about camping on Saturday. I can always go back when it gets warmer for us to camp. My disappointment with camping failure dissipated as I captured these images of the sunrise. Such an amazing place! I am so glad it’s a driving distance from our home so Xena can join me on these amazing trips.

Good to Know:

  • Lone Pine Campground
    • No fee during offseason; $22/nightly/daily, $7 for additional vehicle
    • Reservation required during peak season (4/25/18 – 10/30/18)
    • Popular for RV camping but there are also a few tent-only sites and one tent-only group site that can accommodate up to 15 guests
  • Alabama Hills
    • Dispersed camping; no fee or permit required
    • 5.5 miles from Lone Pine Campground
  • Mobius Arch Loop Hike
    • Hike Date: 2.11.18
    • Distance: 0.6 miles
    • Elevation Gain: 42 ft
Get Our Latest Comprehensive Dog-friendly Trail List Here. Enjoy!

Happy Hiking!

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12 comments on “Winter Camping Attempt in Lone Pine”

  1. Nice spot. I especially liked the view of Mt. Whitney, and the sun shining through Eye of Alabama Arch. I’ve hiked just over the western horizon from Lone Pine, Bishop, Lee Vining and Bridgeport… in Sequoia NP, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite. I’ve got to spend some time on the east side! We’re going to be visiting in Anaheim for a few days next month… anything you’d recommend?

    1. Mike, you should check out the Eastern Sierra for sure! It’s beautiful up there. You’d love it! Anaheim..hmm…it’s so dry out there. If you don’t mind the drive, I recommend checking out the Angeles National Forest or San Bernandino National Forest. Email me with details of what you are looking for so I can narrow down the recommendations. πŸ™‚

      1. We sure are! I started my blog at the beginning of the year so I’m still sorta new to all of it. But I seriously LOVE all of your posts and pictures! Thanks for following πŸ™‚

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