Hike the Mobius Arch Loop Trail

Hike the Mobius Arch Loop Trail

In This Guide
  • How to Get to Mobius Arch
  • Mobius Arch Trail Maps
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions
  • What You Need To Do the Hike
Distance0.6 miles (1 km)
Time1 Hour (Total Time)
DifficultyEasy
Total Climbing65 feet (20m)
Dog FriendlyOff Leash Okay
Park NameBishop 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 what I would bring:

My Top Gear Picks

Garmin inreach review

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

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

Mobius Arch Trail Maps

Fenix 5x Hiking Review

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 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

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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!

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