Movie magic has been made among the giant boulders in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California’s Alabama Hills.
By Mary Taylor
Nestled between Lone Pine, California, and the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, the Alabama Hills can be a destination by itself, or serve as a day trip while you’re staying at Death Valley National Park. As for us, we had heard intriguing descriptions of the area and wanted to see it for ourselves. We weren’t disappointed.
The name Alabama Hills — coined during the Civil War in honor of a Confederate warship — probably does not bring an immediate image to mind. But you likely have seen these hills many times in movies. They have served as a backdrop in 400 or so films since the 1920s. They “became” northern India in 1939’s Gunga Din, as well as the Gobi Desert and parts of Arabia. They even led you to think you were seeing Africa as you watched a couple of Tarzan movies. In more modern times, the landscape served as Spain in Gladiator, was included in Django Unchained, and was alien-looking enough for Star Trek Generations.