Lone Pine, California
Lone Pine is a census designated place located in Inyo Country, California. Geographically the town is located in Owens Valley, at the foot of Mt. Whitney, on the eastern border of the state, 170 miles from Bakersfield, CA. A long time home to indigenous peoples, Lone Pine was first settled by Europeans in the early 1860s. It was originally a supply point for the mining industry that grew in the region during the second half of the 19th century. In the 1920s Hollywood was brought to Lone Pine and it became the base for a slew of Westerns filmed in the nearby Alabama Hills. Today the town survives off of the tourism dollars brought in by climbers heading up Mt. Whitney, visitors of the Lone Pine Film History museum and Alabama Hills, and those interested in other nearby attractions like the Manzanar National Historic Site. Lone Pine’s population at the 2010 census was 2,035 and the town has never been much larger.
My visit to Lone Pine
U.S. Route 395 spans 1,305 miles from Washington State’s northeast border with Canada to the town of Hesperia, Ca on the periphery of the Mojave Desert, east of Los Angeles. Driving south through the Sierra Nevada mountains, the final descent is into Owens Valley with North Palisade and Mt Whitney, two of the Sierra’s largest mountains to the right, and the smaller White and Inyo mountain ranges to the left. As the 395 cuts like a river through the core of the valley, towns like Big Pine and Independence become speed-traps where limits drop from 65mph to 35mph in a blink of an eye. It is along this last stretch south of the U.S. 395 that you will find Lone Pine, Ca. with its population of just over 2000 people and a location more than 150 miles from the nearest major city center…