|Population: < 2,000 people|
Lone Pine, founded in 1860, owes its name to a lone pine that pioneers found in the estuary of the nearby canyon. Lone Pine is located in the Owens valley, near the northern hillside of Sierra Nevada, on the edge of the Inyo national forest. Mount Wintny, the highest mountain in the USA, is located about 15 miles to the west from the town. And just about fifty miles to the east the Death Valley starts beyond the chain of Alabama hills.
Unlike other gold rush towns, Lone Pine has not died and sunk into obscurity because as early as in 1920, in the era of silent screen, it was re-opened by Hollywood – The Roundup was filmed here. It sounds odd, but the Death Valley, or rather its closeness helped the town to survive. More than 250 films, including such as Joe the Kid with Clint Eastwood and Maverick starring Mel Gibson and Jody Foster as well as countless western TV shows were filmed in vicinity of the city. Starting from 1990 the annual western festival takes place here attracting fans from all over the world.
It would be interesting for war history fans to know that during the World War II one of the camps, where 11,000 Americans of Japanese origin were transported to after Pearl Harbor, was located not far from Lone Pine.