- Home - Hiking Trails - Hikes Around Mt Whitney 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.
0.6 miles (1 km)
Photos of Mt Whitney
Sunrise or Sunset
Mobius Arch Loop Trail Trail Maps
Google Maps trailhead:
Mobius Arch Loop Trailhead, Lone Pine, CA, 93545, USA Hike Location 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. 3D Hike Map The Mobius Arch Loop Trail does a simple circle, starting and ending in the well marked parking lot. Hike Elevation Profile There are some little ups and downs, but overall this is a easy hike. Interactive Hike Map Mobius Arch Loop Trail Map Downloads View a Printable PDF Hike Map Download the Hike GPX File Mobius Arch Loop Trail Directions What To Expect 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 in, Mobius Arch and Lathe Arch. This is a quick hike that you can do while staying in Lone Pine or Whitney Portal. I did it after dinner and caught a great sunset on the rocks. Sunrise and sunset will get you great colors on the rock. It can get hot midday, it’s basically desert. You can also camp for free on this Bureau of Land Management area, although there are no bathrooms or facilities here. Turn By Turn Hike Directions 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. 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. Eventually Movie Road splits, head right and the parking lot is right after this. The Mobius Arch Loop Trail parking area is massive. Start the hike on the trailhead at the right end of the parking lot. The loop trail entrance is well marked. At the start you head down these cool stone stairs and then back up the other side. Keep your eyes open for lizards. Once you hike up the little hill, the trail is well marked with stones on either side. When the stones are not along the trail, there’s usually a brown trail marker to show you the way. 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. 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. Shortly after the left, a brown marker lets you know that you’re going the right way. After a flat stretch the trail starts to get rocky again. Climb up onto the big section of exposed rock. Here you are, Mobius Arch! Climb around the rocks, take your pictures, and have fun. When you’re done exploring Mobius Arch, head back to the right of the arch to continue. 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. This satellite photo gives you an idea of where Lathe Arch is in relation to Mobius Arch. You have to head into this area to see Lathe Arch. You can’t see from the main trail like Mobius Arch. Here’s the view of Mt Whitney through Lathe Arch. After you check out Lathe Arch, head back to the main trail and continue straight, as if you just left Mobius Arch. The trail is easy to follow as it heads back to the parking area. At the bottom of the hill, take the trail up to the left and climb up to the parking lot. And here you are, back where you started, but on the other side of the lot. Happy trails! Mobius Arch Loop Trail Video Please subscribe to my YouTube channel here! Support This Site
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Read More 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.
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