Alabama Hills Boondocking

On Saturday we drove north east approximately 3 hours from Burbank to Lone Pine, California. We were planning on boondocking in the Alabama Hills. The Alabama Hills have served as a location for over 400 movies. Most recently Star Trek Generations, Gladiator, Iron Man, and Django Unchained.

The area is incredible, unfortunately cell service is worse than expected. We got 1 bar of Verizon at the beginning of Movie Road, and then it dropped to extended. Our other phone showed up to 3 bars of AT&T 4G, but when you tried to load a web page nothing would happen.

Determined to make it work, we unhitched and went scouting for a site. Back on the main road leading to Movie Road (Whitney Portal) we found other access roads to the BLM land. They were closer to town and it looked like we had 3 bars of Verizon and 2 of AT&T.

We went back for the trailer and towed over to our new location, but then we couldn’t get level. 4 blocks on one side seemed close enough, but then we had to raise the trailer so high in the front it seemed a little precarious. So we hitched back up and moved it forward a little and tried again. No luck.

There was another spot nearby that didn’t have AT&T but still seemed to get Verizon, so we tried moving over there. Still no go on leveling, so we moved a few feet over (pictured above) and had no problem leveling. But now we only had 1 bar of Verizon and it would go back and forth between 3G and extended.

Well, that’s why we look for places on Saturday, so if it doesn’t work out we have all day Sunday to find something that does.

Dinner Last Night:
Pasta with Chickpeas and Garlic Sauce with steamed broccoli rabe. I’ve been making this since we were in our first Airstream in 2005 or 2006. It’s the only recipe on my menu this week that we’ve had before and since I wasn’t feeling that great I figured it would be the easiest. I only use the 2 cloves of garlic in the beginning of the recipe and omit the two at the end. Don’t forget the lemon at the end, for some reason it’s forgettable when you’re assembling it and it’s a key flavor.

2013 Cost of Camping:
19 nights paid camping
99 nights free camping
Total spent on camping this year: $503.25
Daily average cost of camping: $4.26

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Santa Barbara Mary & David April 29, 2013 at 8:23 am

    We’re going to try a nite of camping at Grandview (on the road to the Bristlecone Grove) when we journey north to Alumafandango in August.
    Would you mind going up to GV campground and checking the reception there, too?
    HA! JUST KIDDING! Just had to make a comment about your ” search for signal strength”.

    • Reply Leigh April 29, 2013 at 9:08 am

      We are going to Bishop next week, maybe we’ll have a chance to check out Grandview, but “no promises.” (My favorite new phrase – after we saw it on a billboard for some Mexican food).

  • Reply Poker Shrink April 29, 2013 at 9:50 am

    I had a lot of troubling leveling this weekend too!

  • Reply Van-Tramp April 29, 2013 at 11:57 am

    You guys are coming up on the Keough Hot Springs area. Just before you reach the commercial hot springs, there are public ones on LA Water District land (under the power lines). I would not try to pull the trailer in there as there is not much room to turn around, but it may be a nice stop if you are passing through since it is only a 1/4 mile off 395. has a map

    • Reply Leigh April 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      I actually just looked at that blog post yesterday when we were considering other locations! It looks awesome.

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.