Lone Pine is a census-designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. Lone Pine is located 16 miles (26 km) south-southeast of Independence, at an elevation of 3727 feet (1136 m). The population was 1,655 at the 2000 census. The town is located in the Owens Valley, near the Alabama Hills. From possible choices of urban, rural, and frontier, the Census Bureau identifies this area as "frontier." The local hospital, Southern Inyo Hospital, offers standby emergency services. On March 26, 1872, the very large Lone Pine earthquake destroyed most of the town and killed 27 of its 250 to 300 residents.
Much of the local economy is based on tourism, as the town is between several major tourist destinations, such as Mount Whitney, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Mammoth Mountain, Death Valley National Park, and Yosemite National Park; many motels line the main road through town. The Manzanar National Historic Site (formerly the Manzanar War Relocation Center), a Japanese American internment camp during World War II, is located on Highway 395 north of Lone Pine and south of Independence. Manzanar (which means "apple orchard" in Spanish) is the best-known of the ten camps in which Japanese Americans, both citizens (including natural-born Americans) and resident aliens, were encamped during World War II. Manzanar has been identified as the best preserved of these camps by the United States National Park Service which maintains and is restoring the site as a U.S. National Historic Site. The Alabama Hills Recreation Area are located just west of town, on the road to the Whitney Portal which offers access to Mount Whitney.
On the way to Whitney Portal and the Alabama Hills visitors will pass over the two Los Angeles Aqueducts, the First Los Angeles Aqueduct (completed 1913) by the LADWP and the Second Los Angeles Aqueduct (completed 1970). These aqueducts traditionally have supplied Los Angeles with about half its water, some 450,000 acre feet (560,000,000 m³) a year. Because groundwater pumping continues at a higher rate than the rate at which water recharges the aquifer, the result is a long-term trend of desertification in the Owens Valley. The Sierra Nevada range and the Inyo Mountains dominate the views from the town.
A local attraction is the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History which exposes the area's frequent appearances in Hollywood feature films. The Alabama Hills, west of town, are frequently used as a location for Westerns and other movies. The Whitney Portal road was used in the 1941 film High Sierra with Humphrey Bogart, which culminated with a shoot-out between Bogart's character (Roy Earle) and the police, at the foot of Mount Whitney. Also, there is The Forum Theater, a theater-cafe that hosts live music, theater, and films on the weekends. The Lone Pine Film Festival has been held every year since 1990 to celebrate the rich heritage that film makers have brought to the area over the years.
Lone Pine has a great museum that has many outstanding displays of the local history.
Lone Pine is situated in the Owens Valley with the picturesque Alabama Hills lying to the west. Their unique appearance has attracted many film companies over the years to Lone Pine for filming westerns. The hills were named in 1862 by Southern sympathizers commemorating the victories of the Confederate ship CSS Alabama.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 18.7 square miles (48.5 km²), of which, 18.6 square miles (48.2 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.59%) is water.
Lone Pine and most of the Owens Valley has a high desert climate characterized by hot summers and cold winters. January temperatures range from the middle fifties to upper twenties. July temperatures range from the upper nineties to lower sixties. Low humidity is common and average annual precipitation averages less than six inches. Snowfall varies greatly from year to year, averaging only five inches annually. The nearest official National Weather Service cooperative weather station is in Independence, where records date back to 1893.
Prehistoric habitation of the Owens Valley is known to have been made by the Paiute people. These early inhabitants were known to have established trading routes which extended to the Pacific Central Coast with such tribes as the Chumash receiving materials originating in the Owens Valley.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,655 people, 709 households, and 448 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 88.9 people per square mile (34.3/km²). There were 867 housing units at an average density of 46.6/sq mi (18.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 83.20% White, 0.06% Black or African American, 2.72% Native American, 0.97% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 8.10% from other races, and 4.89% from two or more races. 26.83% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 709 households out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.8% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 22.5% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and 20.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $29,079, and the median income for a family was $35,800. Males had a median income of $30,813 versus $22,778 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $16,262. About 16.5% of families and 20.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.9% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.
The Lone Pine Indian Reservation is home to persons of Mono and Timbisha lineage and is a Federally recognized tribe. The tribe is the most southern band of Mono - known by the misnomer "Northern Paiute" - who were sedentary to the valley due to the suitable climate and abundant food supply. These people have been living here for several thousands of years. The reservation is along the south side of town on both sides of US395.
Lone Pine has a great local museum that has many outstanding displays of the areas history.
In the state legislature Lone Pine is located in the 18th Senate District, represented by Republican Roy Ashburn, and in the 18th Assembly District, represented by Republican Bill Maze. Federally, Lone Pine is located in California's 25th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +7 and is represented by Republican Buck McKeon.
Serving the area with a 4,000-foot (1,200 m) runway, Lone Pine Airport (FAA identifier: O26) is located about a mile southeast of town at .
Lone Pine has one high school, Lone Pine High School. It is located on the south end of town along HWY 395.