Arch Loop Trail - Alabama Hills

Trek Date: October 10, 2015

It's not hard to imagine a group of outlaws galloping down this canyon, trying to get away from a sheriff's posse. And with all the western movies that were filmed in the Alabama Hills, it's a good bet that this canyon appeared in some of them. You can almost hear the horse's hooves pounding, the cowboy yells and the crack of pistol shots. This canyon, and others like it are located just a short distance off the Arch Loop Trail. And since I was looking for arches, I saved this canyon hike for another day.

The Arch Loop Trail is a relatively easy trail to hike, well maintained and marked. There are a few portions that get your heart going a bit, but that's good for you. There is so much spectacular scenery to see along the trail - the Sierra Nevadas, rocky gulches and canyons, strange rock formations - that you might just miss the two famous arches if you're not careful! 

The loop trail is less than a mile long, but you could spend a day wandering along its route, taking side trips to explore and to other arches (if you know where they are).

I see a winged angel.

The famous Mobius Arch, with Mt. Whitney in the far background.

The other side of Mobius.

Lathe Arch is located just a short distance from Mobius Arch. It's rather low to the ground and is easy to miss if you're not looking for it. It also provides a nice frame for Mt. Whitney in the distance.

The book I purchased in Lone Pine, Arches of the Alabama Hills by Orlyn Fordham, lists many other arches that can easily be reached from the Arch Loop Trail. All it takes is a GPS, or a map and good compass know-how. Some desert hiking skills are always a requirement when heading off an established trail.

Mobius Arch is included in what Fordham refers to as the "Big Three" arches in the Alabama Hills. The other two are Whitney Portal Arch and the Eye of Alabama. The hike to Whitney Portal Arch takes a bit more time, energy and skill to get to. You can read my report on it by clicking HERE. My next trip will include finding the Eye of Alabama. 

Next up on the itinerary, Heart Arch.

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