mobius arch loop trail hike

Hike the Mobius Arch Loop Trail

In This Guide
  • How to Get to Mobius Arch
  • Mobius Arch Trail Maps
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions & Video
Distance0.6 miles (1 km)
Hike Time1 Hour (Total)
DifficultyEasy
Total Ascent (?)65 feet (20m)
Highest Elevation4,665 feet (1422m)
Fees & PermitsFree
Dog FriendlyOff Leash Okay
Park ContactBishop Field Office - Bureau of Land Management
Park Phone760-872-5000

If you’re in Lone Pine, CA, don’t miss the Mobius Arch Loop Trail in the Alabama Hills Recreation Area. It’s an easy hike that has one of the best photo opportunities in the Eastern Sierras. You’ll be able to perfectly frame Mt Whitney and the Sierras within a natural rock arch formation. And there’s more than just Mobius Arch, Alabama Hills Recreation Area is full of natural beauty and unique rock formations. You might even recognize some of the spots in Alabama Hills from Django Unchained, Gladiator and Iron Man.

How to Get to Mobius Arch

The trailhead address is: Mobius Arch Loop Trailhead, Lone Pine, CA, 93545, USA. The trailhead is just off Whitney Portal Road between Lone Pine, CA and the Mt Whitney trailhead.

Once you’re on Movie Road, the directions below will help guide you to the trailhead.

Alabama Hills Recreation Area
Once you’re on Movie Road you’ll see a sign for Alabama Hills Recreation Area. The road is otherwise unmarked. You just stay on the widest dirt road as you go, avoiding side roads.
views of Mt Whitney
The views of Mt Whitney are to your left as you head to the Mobius Arch trailhead. Also, note the smaller side roads and trails that you avoid.
Movie Road
Eventually Movie Road splits, head right and the parking lot is right after this.
Mobius Arch Loop Trail parking
The Mobius Arch Loop Trail parking area is massive.

Also note that if you are looking for a place to camp, this is Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land and free game for camping or car camping. There are not facilities and it gets hot, but there are plenty of nice places to setup for the night. It can come in handy if you want to grab some sleep before attempting Mt Whitney.

Gear for the Mobius Arch Hike

This is a short, easy hike that you don’t need any special gear for. It does get incredibly hot here, especially in the summer, so water is important.

Here’s the gear that I personally use, have tested, and recommend for this hike*.

La Sportiva Spire

La Sportiva Spire GTX

Good for light and more hardcore hikes. Feels like a sneaker but protects like a hiking boot.

Women’s Reviews

Men’s Reviews

Rei Flash 22

REI Flash 22 Pack

This is a super-light and comfortable backpack that can hold everything you need on a hike, including a hydration bladder. It also works great as a general backpack or carry-on.

See Colors & Prices

Joby On Triee

Joby Smartphone Tripod

Make your photos stand out by using this lightweight, do-anything tripod. The Joby attaches your smartphone to trees, rocks, whatever you can find on the trail. Folds down compactly too.

See the Joby Options

Don’t waster your money on hiking gear that’s no good, I’ve done that for you already! Full HikingGuy Gear List

* No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an REI link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

Also → Big Sale at REI On Now:

REI SALE

What To Know Before You Hike

Mt Whitney Mobius Arch
Here’s a great shot of Mt Whitney through Mobius Arch. Photo from BLM.

Mobius Arch Trail Maps

Click To View Map

Hike the Mobius Arch Loop Trail Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Here’s what I use to navigate my hikes. I recommend a combination of paper and electronic options with backups.

Gaiagps

Gaia GPS

Gaia GPS is a planning and navigation tool that you can use on your phone, tablet, and the web. I use it on my phone when I need to interact with the map and know where my position is on it. I use it at home on the computer to plan routes. You can overlay maps such as public lands to find out free places to camp. It’s a powerful tool.

HikingGuy Discount on Gaia GPS

Fenix Nav

Garmin Fenix Watch

This thing does everything: maps, GPX tracks, compass, barometer, altitude, heart rate, blood oxygen, fitness tracking, sleep tracking, and the list goes on. I keep a GPX route on the watch so I can quickly glance down and make sure I’m in the right place.

Fenix Prices & Reviews

My In-Depth Review

Topo Map

Topo Maps & Guide Books

Don’t be caught out if your batteries die. Take a topo map with you on the trail. Some people also print my guides out for use on the hike.

I also highly recommend taking a map and compass navigation course. It’s a few hours, it’s fun, and it could save your life.

Map and Compass Navigation Basics Classes

Don’t just rely on a cell phone, especially if you are hiking in the backcountry.

mobius arch loop trail hike
The Mobius Arch Loop Trail does a simple circle, starting and ending in the well marked parking lot.

Mobius Arch Hike Directions

Video Directions

Get notified when new guides come out with the links below.

Subscribe to HikingGuy on YouTube

Get My Quarterly Newsletter

Turn By Turn Hike Directions

Mobius Arch Loop Trail parking
Start the hike on the trailhead at the right end of the parking lot.
 loop trail entrance
The loop trail entrance is well marked.
stone stairs
At the start you head down these cool stone stairs and then back up the other side. Keep your eyes open for lizards.
mobius arch loop trail
Once you hike up the little hill, the trail is well marked with stones on either side.
mobius arch loop trail
When the stones are not along the trail, there’s usually a brown trail marker to show you the way.
mobius arch loop trail
Because this hike is short and easily accessible, you get lots of people who explore off the trail, and sometimes the footprints diverge off the official trail. Just a heads up. This point of the hike was probably the most confusing. Stay straight toward the brown post.
mobius arch loop trail junction
There’s only one major trail junction. Keep to the left when the trail splits to a T. Hiking right brings you back to Movie Road.
mobius arch loop trail
Shortly after the left, a brown marker lets you know that you’re going the right way.
mobius arch loop trail
After a flat stretch the trail starts to get rocky again.
mobius arch loop trail
Climb up onto the big section of exposed rock.
Mobius Arch
Here you are, Mobius Arch!
Mobius Arch
Climb around the rocks, take your pictures, and have fun.
Mobius Arch
When you’re done exploring Mobius Arch, head back to the right of the arch to continue.
mobius arch loop trail
Lathe Arch is much tricker to get to. As soon as you walk over the exposed rock at Mobius Arch, make the first left on a smaller trail. There are footprints that help out.
mobius arch loop trail
This satellite photo gives you an idea of where Lathe Arch is in relation to Mobius Arch.
mobius arch loop trail
You have to head into this area to see Lathe Arch. You can’t see from the main trail like Mobius Arch.
view of Mt Whitney through Lathe Arch
Here’s the view of Mt Whitney through Lathe Arch.
mobius arch loop trail
After you check out Lathe Arch, head back to the main trail and continue straight, as if you just left Mobius Arch.
mobius arch loop trail
The trail is easy to follow as it heads back to the parking area.
mobius arch loop trail
At the bottom of the hill, take the trail up to the left and climb up to the parking lot.
mobius arch loop trail
And here you are, back where you started, but on the other side of the lot. Happy trails!

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.