The ALABAMA HILLS are a range of hills and rock formations near the
eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada in the
Owens Valley , west of Lone
Pine in Inyo County,
California , United States.
Though geographically separate from the Sierra Nevada, they are part
of the same geological formation.
Alabama Hills Recreation Area
* 2 Geology
* 3 History
* 4 Filming location
* 5 References
* 6 External links
ALABAMA HILLS RECREATION AREA
The Alabama Hills, managed by the U.S.
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Land Management as
Alabama Hills Recreation Area, are a protected habitat and for
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 from a different orogeny , the Alabamas are the same age as the
nearby Sierras. The difference in wear can be accounted for by
different patterns of erosion.
Mount Whitney , the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States
, towers several thousand feet above this low range, which itself is
1,500 feet (460 m) above the floor of Owens Valley. However, gravity
surveys indicate that the
Owens Valley is filled with about 10,000
feet (3,000 m) of sediment and that the Alabamas are the tip of a very
steep escarpment. This feature may have been created by many
earthquakes similar to the
1872 Lone Pine earthquake which, in a
single event, caused a vertical displacement of 15–20 feet.
There are two main types of rock exposed at Alabama Hills. One is an
orange, drab 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
Dozens of natural arches are among the main attractions at the
Alabama Hills. They can be accessed by short hikes from the Whitney
Portal Road, the Movie Flat Road and the Horseshoe Meadows Road. Among
the notable features of the area are: Mobius Arch, Lathe Arch, the Eye
of Alabama and Whitney
Typical rocks in
Alabama Hills This narrow valley doubled
Khyber Pass in the 1939 epic
Gunga Din Temple
Alabama Hills were named for
CSS Alabama . When news of the
Confederate warship's exploits reached prospectors in California
sympathetic to the
American Civil War
American Civil War Confederates, they named many
mining claims after the ship, and the name came to be applied to the
entire range. When the Alabama was finally sunk off the coast of
Normandy by the USS Kearsarge in 1864, prospectors sympathetic to the
North named a mining district , a mountain pass , a mountain peak ,
and a town after the Kearsarge.
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Alabama Hills are a popular filming location for television and
movie productions, especially Westerns set in an archetypical "rugged"
environment. Since the early 1920s, 150 movies and about a dozen
television shows have been filmed here, including
Tom Mix films,
Hopalong Cassidy films,
The Gene Autry Show
The Gene Autry Show , The Lone Ranger and
Bonanza . Meanwhile Classics such as
Gunga Din ,
The Walking Hills ,
Yellow Sky , Springfield Rifle ,
The Violent Men , Bad Day at Black
Rock (1955), the
Budd Boetticher /
Randolph Scott "Ranown" westerns,
part of How the West Was Won , and
Joe Kidd . In the late 1940s and
early 50s the area was also a popular location for the films of
Tim Holt .
More recent productions such as Tremors and Joshua Tree , were filmed
at "movie ranch " sites known as Movie Flats and Movie Flat Road. In
Gladiator , actor
Russell Crowe rides a horse in front of the
Mount Whitney in the background, for a scene presumably
Star Trek Generations was filmed here in addition to
Overton, Nevada and Paramount Studios . This range was one of the
filming locations for Disney's Dinosaur . More recently, many parts of
the films Iron Man , Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen , and the
independent, experimental film 3.14... were filmed here.
* ^ "Alabama Hills". ListsOfJohn.com. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
* ^ "Alabama Hills".
Geographic Names Information System
Geographic Names Information System . United
States Geological Survey . Retrieved 2012-11-16.
* ^ A B Kyle, Douglas E. and Hoover, Mildred Brooke (1990).
Historic Spots in California, p. 122. Stanford, California: Stanford
University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4483-1 .
* Geology Underfoot in Death Valley and Owens Valley, Sharp, Glazner