Our trip continued after the Bristlecone Pine Forest, across the Owens River Valley toward Mt. Whitney, to the gates of the Sierras at the Alabama Hills. Melody and I usually do some Sunset and Sunrise chasing during our trips, so we left our camp early to see if we could capture a few photos along the way. On our way to the Alabama Hills, the Sierras began to light up with the alpenglow and I jumped out for a quick photo.
Melody didn’t want to get out, since it was practically freezing outside, but also got the enjoy the view as well from the warmth of our car.
Originally we wanted to get a view of Mt. Whitney with Mobius Arch in the foreground, but we just missed it. Waking up too late does that, but sometimes you just take the views as they come. Instead we got Bruce out on the trails for a little bit of off roading.
Bruce traversing the little dirt roads, an easy feat and not really 4×4 necessary.
The Alabama Hills are known for their interesting rocks, which really remind me of Joshua Tree, which was also a destination for climbers. The rock formations provide some fantastic views as well as photos.
Bruce, going through a little one way dirt road.
We hopped out to scramble along the rocks and see what we could find.
Melody also followed suit.
Giving her a hand, through some steeper sections.
I used to go climbing every day in my college days, so this terrain was very comfortable and familiar. Melody ended up staying back.
We headed over to Mobius Rock, for the famous view of Whitney in the background.
And as we looked back, we could see these patterns along the rocks, which is eerie and very foreign looking. This location was known for set locations for Wild West movies back in the day, and also used for Mars Attack!
I setup the tripod, for a few shots of the Arch with me and Melody underneath.
Mel and Kel.
After our morning hike, we headed out and was looking forward to the beginning section of the Whitney Portal. We were preparing for our trip in the next few months traversing from the Mt. Whitney Portal and out at Kearsarge pass. This was just to get familiar with the location as well as get outside from our usually city home. On our trail out, we found a few more interesting rock formations.
Which hosted this little cave like rock.
And Melody documenting as well.
There was also a bit of vegetation on the trail. A little cactus was looking to bloom, but it was a little too early in the season to see it.
And another species, which looks a little more “fluffy”.
The hike is really simple, a very flat grade and only about a half mile from our parking.
And we said good bye, to head to Whitney, seen on the very right of this photo.
We drove up a few thousand feet, from the desert floor, to Whitney Portal. The gateway to the tallest peak in the continental United States. We were looking for a short little hike, before heading back home, but it was a beautiful site. The granite walls greeted us as we set off on our journey.
We ended up hiking only around 3 miles on the Mt. Whitney Trail, but there was plenty of terrain to traverse.
Melody fording the waters from the melting snow.
And into the John Muir Wilderness we went, the start of the actual hike.
The contrast between the granite mountain and the lush pines were an interesting sight to see. We were attempting to get past the tree line, but that didn’t up really happening.
Melody, and one of the few times she needed to hike through snow. This is probably one of her least favorite parts of hiking.
We headed over this log bridge as well, and decided to conclude the hike and head back.
Melody, who saw a few tadpoles in the waters below.
And it was time to go home, with the weekend ending that day, we needed to get some rest before the long week ahead of us.