location-photo
camera
len
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens
Shutter Speed
1/100 sec
Aperture
f/11
Focal Length
16mm
ISO
320

Movie Flat Road view of Alabama Hills & Barrel Cacti

avatar
@codymayer22
Home to scenic desert landscapes and natural beauty, Movie Flat Road is a paradise for both moviemakers and photographers. Hundreds of American films, mainly Westerns were shot in the nearby town of Lone Pine. During my visit, I was particularly impressed by the purplish morning light on the mountains and the desert plants around me.

Plan

Overview

Skill level

Easy
Accessbility
Public Location

Hours

Anytime

Fee

Free

Pack

  • Wide-angle lens
  • Telephoto

How to get there

N36° 37' 21.2452"W118° 06' 57.3592"
This photo of Alabama Hills and barrel cacti was taken nearby Movie Flat Road. To get there by car from Lone Pine, take Whitney Portal Road to the west. Then turn right onto Movie Road and follow it until you crest a hill that looks back on the mountains. This is a dirt road that can be muddy and snowy at times, so be careful. These barrel cactus can be found by walking north through the rocks.

Tips

When to go

Best season

January, February, March, April, May, November, December

Best time

Sunrise
To enjoy your time on Alabama Hills and take similar photos with snowcapped mountains, I recommend visiting Movie Flat Road in the winter or spring. The mountains are way more beautiful with snow on top and by visiting during this period of time, you will be escaping the extremely hot summers in Lone Pine. I visited in January but if you want to see the barrel cactus buds, keep in mind that they start in April.
During sunrise, the mountain peaks will get a beautiful alpine glow which makes for a stunning background in your photo.

Field tips

By using a wide-angle lens, you can show off both the barrel cacti in the foreground and the beautiful hills in the background all in one shot.
The first light of the day is a great time to break out the telephoto lens and capture some detailed shots of the hills. Trust me, the results will be worth it!
Focus stacking is a really cool technique to try at this spot. Just snap a few separate shots, focusing on the cacti in the foreground and then up to the Alabama Hills. Blend the shots together later and you'll have an incredibly sharp and detailed photo.
To draw attention to the stunning desert landscape, try centering a barrel cactus in your frame. This creates a balanced and eye-catching composition that will make your photos stand out.

Current weather

Lone Pine, California
Clear
55o
F
Tue
79o
55o
Wed
74o
53o
Thu
71o
50o
Fri
64o
48o
Sat
68o
45o

Blue Hour

12:41
55o
Clear

Sunrise

13:08
43o
Clear

Golden Hour

01:59
55o
Clear

Sunset

02:34
43o
Clear

Do nearby

If you’ve got a nice car camping set-up, Lone Pine and its surroundings are some of the best places to car camp in California. With unique sites and beautiful views all around, you won't get bored. While you're there, consider popping over to Alabama Hills Movie Road Viewpoint which is a popular photo spot.
Although Lone Pine is a small town, there are some great places where you can grab some food. Alabama Hills Cafe & Bakery is well worth a visit.

Locations nearby

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