Hike the Mobius Arch Loop Trail
|In This Guide|
|Distance||0.6 miles (1 km)|
|Time||1 Hour (Total Time)|
|Total Climbing||65 feet (20m)|
|Dog Friendly||Off Leash Okay|
|Park Name||Bishop Field Office - Bureau of Land Management|
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.
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 what I would bring:
- Trail runners or sneakers
- A camera
My Top Gear Picks
Do you have the right hiking gear? Will it stand up to the test? I waste lots of money testing hiking gear every year so that you don’t have to. My gear picks are solid choices that will serve you well on the trail. I don’t do sponsored or paid reviews, I just the share actual gear that I use all the time that’s made the cut. Here are my top picks:
- Garmin InReach Mini Emergency Beacon – Hiking out of cell phone range? Make sure you have one of these two-way satellite texting devices in case your hike doesn’t go as planned. You can read my full review here.
- Injinji Sock Liners With Darn Tough Hiking Socks – This combo is a great way to avoid blisters out on the trail. I have some insider-hiking tips for avoiding blisters here. Pair them with modern, high-tech hiking boots (for women and men) and your feet with thank you.
- Garmin Fenix 5x Plus – It’s a little pricey, but man do I love this thing. Not only does it have all the topo maps and navigation tools on my wrist, but it also acts as a long battery life, rugged, outdoors version of an Apple Watch. Track your workouts, sleep, heart rate, all that stuff.
I have lots of other great, sponsor-free, trail tested gear picks on my “best gear” page.
See My Full Gear List
What To Know Before You Hike
- Mobius Arch Loop Trail is in Alabama Hills Recreation Area, home to a bunch of beautiful geological formations. The rocks you see here are the same age as the high mountains of the Eastern Sierra, but they’ve just eroded differently. Most of the rock you see is between 82-200 million years old.
- Miners who sympathized with the confederate cause named this area after the CSS Alabama battleship, a confederate ship that wreaked havoc on Union shipping.
- Mobius Arch got it’s name because the one side looks like it folds over, like a Mobius strip.
- Alabama Hills Recreation Area is the setting for a ton of movies and TV shows like the Lone Ranger. There’s a movie museum in Lone Pine and they offer a self-guided tour of Alabama Hills Recreation Area, but most of the films are older westerns. If you’re not an old movie buff, you might not get much out of it. They did film parts of Iron Man, Django Unchained, and Gladiator here though.
- The hike has two great arches that you can frame Mt Whitney and the Sierras in, Mobius Arch and Lathe Arch. The image in the picture in this article is Lone Pine Peak, which is a little more photogenic.
- This is a quick hike that you can do while staying in Lone Pine or Whitney Portal. I usually do it after dinner to catch a great sunset on the rocks. Sunrise and sunset will get you great colors on the rock.
Mobius Arch Trail Maps
I highly recommend bringing a good paper map with you, and then using it in conjunction with a GPS device. You can see the navigation gear that I use here (I’m currently using the Fenix 5x Plus and love it). Just download the GPX file below and load it onto your GPS.
Many people also print out this web page for the turn-by-turn images. And if you really want to get tricky, YouTube Premium lets you download videos for offline use, so you can download the hike video and save it.
Download the Hike GPX File
View a Printable PDF Hike Map
Mobius Arch Hike Directions
Subscribe to HikingGuy on YouTube
Turn By Turn Hike Directions
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