The area around Lone Pine—including the Alabama Hills Recreational Area—has some of the most recognizable piles of rock in the history of cinema. The terrain here provided the settings for hundreds of B westerns and several classic films, such as 1939’s Gunga Din, 1957’s The Tall T, and 1962’s How the West Was Won. The Bureau of Land Management offers a self-guided tour of Alabama Hills movie locations, while the website of Lone Pine’s Museum of Western Film History helpfully contrasts the sites along the road with stills from the films shot there.
The Museum also keeps the memories alive with its Lone Pine Film Festival, held every October over Columbus Day weekend. The festival is enlivened by real and faux cowboys, film stars, extras, and experts. What’s more, since location work at Lone Pine is ongoing, visitors might witness a new classic: The area was recently used for scenes in Iron Man and Django Unchained.