Scenic USA - California

Lone Pine Creek Falls

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Lone Pine Creek Falls - Whitney Portal, California

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Itís a pretty dramatic climb from the valley floor at Lone Pine to Whitney Portal. This popular road not only leads to the highest peak in the Lower 48, but some California sightseers love the thrilling drive up to the Portal. Starting out from the town of Lone Pine, Whitney Portal Road heads up through the Alabama Hills, where 100s of movies and commercials have been filmed over the last 80 years. Whitney Portal Road then starts a serious climb into the Sierra Nevada Range foothills. Countless switchbacks slow the climb that ends at the Whitney Portal parking area. Here, first time visitors may need a little help spotting the Mount Whitney through the Portal actual jagged peaks of Mount Whitney. Nearby mountains create a small notch, divulging a section of the mountain top (inset).
     The tight parking lot at the end of Whitney Portal Road provides space for a limited number of cars. Here, the sounds of Lone Pine Creek Falls attract the attention of Whitney Portal visitors. Nearly frozen in early October, this image offers Mount Whitney hikers a strong hint of what to expect on the 11 mile trek to the summit of the 14,496 mountain peak.
     What recently grabbed the community's attention along Portal Road is a proposed subdivision on each side of the highway. Jim Walters purchased 125 acres of ranchland, hoping to sub-divide it into a 27 lots. Overwhelming opposition and concerns have surfaced from just about everywhere in Owens Valley. After years of debate, commission votes and court appeals, it looks like the project is going to move forward.

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