Exploring the Alabama Hills...

Wanting to experience this spectacular and unique mountain range, we drove down Movie Road and into the heart of it all. Most of this is BLM land which means we can stay here for free via something called dispersed camping.

What a difference between the Hills and the Mountains. The rounded contours of the Alabamas contrast with the sharp ridges of the Sierra Nevada to the west. Though this might suggest that they formed in a different age and way, the Alabamas are the same age as the nearby Sierras. The difference in wear can be accounted for by different patterns of erosion.

There are two main types of rock exposed at Alabama Hills. One is an orange, weathered metamorphosed volcanic rock that is 150-200 million years old. The other type of rock exposed here is 82- to 85-million-year-old biotite monzogranite which weathers to potato-shaped large boulders, many of which stand on end due to spheroidal weathering acting on many nearly vertical joints in the rock.

The Scarlet milkvetch was the only flower we could find. Its bursts of red were rare but beautiful.
This isolated spot is now one of our favorite places to camp.

We awoke to a crisp, peaceful morning. As the sun came out, the hills lit up. It was pretty amazing.

This was our last stop before returning to Tahoe and home. What an exceptional, varied and unforgettable two weeks of roaming.

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Aquí Ahí Allá said...

Wow. I love the Alabama Hills! I love the Sierras and Death Valley, and everything in between.
That campsite looks absolutely perfect.

Jennifer Sweatt said...

Beautiful! I see a heart-shaped hole in the fourth photo down. XO

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