mobius arch loop trail hike

Hike the Mobius Arch Loop Trail

If you're in Lone Pine, CA, don't miss the Mobius Arch Loop Trail. 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 within a natural rock arch formation. The Mobius Arch Loop Trail is within Alabama Hills Recreation Area, which is a popular filming location. You might recognize some of the spots in Alabama Hills from Django Unchained, Gladiator and Iron Man.

Rating:
4 / 5
Distance:
0.6 miles (1 km)
Time:
1 hour
Difficulty:
Easy
Climbing:
65 ft (20 m)
Trail Condition:
Unmarked Desert
Challenges:
Heat
People:
Not Many
Known For:
Photos of Mt Whitney
Best Time:
Sunrise or Sunset
Dogs:
Yes
Bathrooms:
None
Parking:
Free
Hike Weather:

Mobius Arch Loop Trail Trail Maps

Google Maps trailhead:
Mobius Arch Loop Trailhead, Lone Pine, CA, 93545, USA

mobius arch loop trail hike
The Mobius Arch hike is minutes outside of Lone Pine, CA, and is just off the road to Whitney Portal. Otherwise it's pretty remote, with the closest cities being LA and Las Vegas at about 4 hours away.
mobius arch loop trail hike
The Mobius Arch Loop Trail does a simple circle, starting and ending in the well marked parking lot.
There are some little ups and downs, but overall this is a easy hike.

Interactive Map

Mobius Arch Loop Trail Map Downloads

hiking map on garmin fenix 3

If you have GPS device (I use this one by Garmin and I love it) for your hike, load the GPX file below into your device to navigate the hike. For help on loading the GPX file, read this article on converting and transferring to a Garmin GPS.

Also, don't rely on electronics as your sole means of navigation. There's a basic printable PDF map below, and I strongly picking up a good topo map too.

View a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File

Mobius Arch Loop Trail Directions

mobius arch loop trail hike

What To Expect

Turn By Turn Hike Directions

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.
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!

Mobius Arch Loop Trail Video

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A quick note. These directions are meant as a guide for the hike, and not a definitive source. Conditions change, and the information here can be different based on time of day, weather, season, etc. There can be small side trails that you might see but I missed. I have made every effort to include all the information you need to complete the hike successfully. I recommend using this guide in conjunction with a map, GPX file, common sense, and call to the ranger station or park office. If you do the hike and notice something has changed, please contact me and I will update the guide.