The Alabama Hills are like no where else on earth. Its rounded rocks and eroded hills settled before the jagged peaks of Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, formed over 100 million years ago as earth’s plates pushed into each other with no place for the land to go but up. Hundreds of directors have used this idyllic area as their movie/commercial set, and it is about to become the set of our most recent camping trip. Camping in the Alabama Hills has been on our list ever since our first visit, but the timing has been tricky. Winters are too cold, summers are too hot. It is too far for a weekend trip but we usually have trips planned when I have time off. This four day President’s weekend allowed us the time we needed to drive the four and a half hours to the southeast Sierras (although it didn’t resolve the temperature factor, February is still too cold). Since we live in one of the most populated states, it is no surprise that most of the designated campsites were taken on this long weekend. Even though it is BLM land (and so camping should be permitted anywhere), the Alabama Hills are popular and so measures have been implemented to reduce the destruction to the area. You are only allowed to camp where there is a marker with a tent on it. We ended up in a new area of the Alabama Hills called Contact Flat (in a high clearance vehicle area). We got the last spot at the end of the road, right next to an Alabama Hills trailhead marker. It was surreal to camp surrounded by giant boulders, next to white capped Sierra mountains, under a pitch black night sky, with absolutely no neighbors.