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5 Best Hotels In Lone Pine CA: Where To Stay In 2023

5 Best Hotels In Lone Pine CA: Where To Stay In 2023

Are you looking for the best hotels in Lone Pine CA? Perfect! We’re going to show you the 5 top rated hotels available in and around Lone Pine so you can make the most informed decision on exactly where to stay when you visit.

Instead of trawling through randomly listed hotel search engine results, use our research and data driven guide to find the best hotel in Lone Pine CA for your visit based on location, value, previous guest ratings and our own experiences.

We have personally stayed in Lone Pine when driving between Lake Tahoe and Death Valley. The small Californian town easily surpassed our expectations and some.

Here’s how we will break down the best Death Valley hotels to help you find the perfect place to stay:

  • Things to do around Lone Pine
  • 5 best hotels in Lone Pine
  • Previous guest ratings and our experiences
  • Where to eat in Lone Pine

Let’s find the perfect hotel for your trip to Lone Pine, California!

*Please note this guide contains affiliate links. If you click on one, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting the free content we provide! Read more in our disclosure policy.*

Why Book A Hotel In Lone Pine CA?

Let’s start with the obvious question:

Why would you want to book a hotel in a tiny central California town flanked by towering mountains and hostile desert?

Well, the answer lies precisely within those formidable landscapes.

Lone Pine is located in a perfect spot for adventure hikers and US southwest road trippers:

  • Death Valley National Park is just 40 miles southeast
  • Tallest mountain in the contiguous 48 Mount Whitney trailhead is 11 miles west
  • The northeast entrance to Yosemite National Park is just 120 miles north
  • Popular vacation spot Lake Tahoe is 232 miles north
  • Even Los Angeles is just 210 miles from Lone Pine

Not only is Lone Pine positioned near a ton of popular California adventure spots, but it is also a great place to stop on a longer drive between the northern and southern parts of California.

And we haven’t even talked about one of the best hidden gem landscapes in the US southwest yet.

Alabama Hills at sunrise with soft yellow light pouring over rocky landscape and smooth rock formations
Alabama Hills near Lone Pine at sunrise

Alabama Hills

Have you heard of the Alabama Hills?

After leaving Lake Tahoe, we spent a full day bathing in serene natural Northern California Hot Springs on the way down to Lone Pine.

But why did we choose Lone Pine and not somewhere else?

Mobius Arch

Well, it was because of the Alabama Hills. We think the Alabama Hills is one of California’s best kept secrets.

Imagine the mighty Sierra Nevada Mountains bursting into the distant sky, then picture a flat but rocky and wide open landscape in the foreground and middle ground.

Throw in a handful of unique arch shaped rock formations and a sunrise or sunset and you have yourself a heck of a photography location.

One such smooth arched rock is the exceptionally photogenic Mobius Arch.

The rise of image based social media platforms like instagram are slowly getting the word out about the Alabama Hills, but how it isn’t more popular, we don’t know.

Movies

Film makers and movie location scouts have been savvy to the hidden beauty in the Alabama Hills for decades.

Here are just some of the movies in which some scenes have been filmed in these spectacular foothills:

  • Django Unchained
  • Gladiator
  • Iron Man
  • Man of Steel
  • Tremors

Once you’ve booked one of the best Lone Pine California hotels, take a look into the Alabama Hills and Mobius Arch.

Mobius Arch in Alabama Hills a small but stunning and smooth arched rock formation with other rocks through the gap at dawn in California
Mobius Arch in the Alabama Hills at dawn

Mount Whitney

Many people who book hotels in Lone Pine CA are simply using the town as a base camp for hiking Mt Whitney.

Being the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states means this is a challenging but very popular permit-only hike. As a result, there are plenty of hotels and amenities in town.

If you are planning to hike Mount Whitney in one long day, you will probably need to book a hotel in Lone Pine for 2 nights.

That is unless you plan to sleep in the campground right at the trailhead.

Are Hotels In Lone Pine CA Cheap?

Yes, every hotel in town and near Lone Pine CA is cheap, affordable and functional. There are no luxury hotel options, no unique hotels and no resort style hotels for families.

The low cost of hotels in Lone Pine makes the town available for every traveler on any budget.

However, there are two important things to be aware of when booking hotels near Lone Pine CA.

Man with camera on tripod sat on a rock formation taking photos of other rocks at dawn
Mark trying to capture sunrise through Mobius Arch but the angle was too acute

1. Seasonality

Like most places, Lone Pine hotels are cheaper in off season before transitioning into a more expensive peak season.

You an pick up hotel rooms at anywhere between 33% – 50% cheaper if you visit in off season, which typically runs from October through April.

Between May and September you are going to pay more per night to sleep in Lone Pine, sometimes double the rate you would in off season.

This is no different to any other town or city, but it is something to be aware of before planning your trip.

2. Bed Tax

One thing you should bear in mind when booking any hotels near Lone Pine CA is “Bed Tax”, which is officially known as Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT).

Lone Pine is located in Inyo County, California which levies 12% bed tax on all stays, no matter how you book your hotel room.

So let’s say a room costs $100 for one night in Lone Pine, your total cost is going to be $112.

When booking your hotel using Booking.com look under the price for “includes taxes and fees”. This means the price you see is final and will not be subject to further add ons.

This is something to be aware of so you avoid any nasty surprises when you come to pay!

5 Top Rated Lone Pine CA Hotels

OK, let’s take a look into the best Lone Pine CA hotels as per previous guest ratings from both Booking.com and Google reviews.

Hotels are listed in order of accumulative rating from both sources.

1. Dow Villa Motel Lone Pine

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.3 / 5
Dow Villa Motel is among the best hotels in Lone Pine CA with hot tub outdoor swimming pool and excellent mountain views
Dow Villa Motel Lone Pine – Photo Courtesy of Dow Villa Motel
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Rooms: King room, queen room, queen room with two double beds for families
  • Amenities: WiFi, outdoor seasonal pool, hot tub, free parking
  • Location: Center of Lone Pine

Dow Villa Motel is the top rated hotel in Lone Pine as per both Booking on Google reviewers. The motel is located directly next to the Historic Dow Hotel but it is a separate entity.

You will find a seasonal outdoor swimming pool with hot tub and sun loungers. From any of these amenities you can see the spectacular Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Dow Villa Motel is centrally located and close to the main downtown restaurants. Rooms are larger than average and reviews are most positive about cleanliness.

You really can’t go wrong here for the price of around $100 per night in off season. This will be the hotel we stay at next time we’re in Lone Pine CA.

>> Book Hotel: Dow Villa Motel

2. Portal Motel Lone Pine

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.3 / 10
  • Google – 4.3 / 5
Bedroom with queen bed and small armchair one of the cheap hotels in Lone Pine CA
Our room in Portal Motel in Lone Pine
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Rooms: King room, queen room with two double beds for families
  • Amenities: WiFi, free parking
  • Location: Center of Lone Pine

The top rated alternative to Dow Villa Motel is Portal Motel, which has respectable reviews and typically costs just under $100 per night in off season.

Rooms are basic but functional and previous guest reviews are solid. It has easy access to the Alabama Hills and the main restaurants in town.

If you’re on a shoestring budget or a long trip with dozens of hotel stays, this affordable and central option could be for you.

This is where we stayed when we spent a night in Lone Pine. We booked last minute and the Portal Motel had a room available at a low rate. It is a no frills place but it was clean and quiet.

>> Book Hotel: Portal Motel

3. Historic Dow Hotel Lone Pine

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.0 / 10
  • Google – 4.3 / 5
Large bed in a historic hotel with orange and tan colored furniture Lone Pine California
Historic Dow Motel Lone Pine – Photo Courtesy of Historic Dow Motel
  • Price: Very cheap $
  • Rooms: Double room only (not suitable for families with younger kids)
  • Amenities: WiFi, outdoor seasonal pool, hot tub, free parking
  • Location: Center of Lone Pine

The Historic Dow Hotel is the most attractive looking of all Lone Pine CA hotels from the outside.

This 1920’s building is joined to the Dow Villa Motel and uses all of the same amenities, including the swimming pool and hot tub jacuzzi.

If you’re looking for cheap hotels in Lone Pine CA, the Historic Dow Hotel is even cheaper than both the Lone Pine hotels listed above. You’re looking at under $80 per night in off season on Booking.com.

That is before any Genius rewards are applied so it could be even cheaper if you regularly use Booking.

The central location is about as good as it gets, plus staff and cleanliness are rated highly by previous guests. You also benefit from staying in a charming historic hotel with character.

However, free WiFi is rated poorly at this old hotel, so if you need to use the internet, maybe choose a different hotel in town.

>> Book Hotel: Historic Dow Hotel

4. Quality Inn Lone Pine

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.0 / 10
  • Google – 4.2 / 5
Quality Inn is one of the best hotels in Lone Pine CA with outdoor swimming pool and hot tub with a stunning view
Quality Inn Lone Pine – Photo Courtesy of Choice Hotels
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Rooms: King room, queen room with two double beds for families
  • Amenities: WiFi, free breakfast, seasonal outdoor pool, jacuzzi, pet friendly, free parking, laundry
  • Location: 1.8 miles south of Lone Pine

Quality Inn offers more guest amenities than the other best hotels in Lone Pine CA but it is almost 2 miles south of the town. Plus, the price of $100 per night in off season means the price in peak season rises to around $170 per night.

So it is more expensive, it is further from the restaurants and it is further from both Alabama Hills and the road leading up to Mt Whitney.

Why would you stay here?

Well, it has laundry which is a huge bonus for those on longer road trips and are running out of clothes. Plus, it is pet friendly so you can stay here with your dogs.

This is also the only hotel in Lone Pine with breakfast included and it is incredibly quiet with amazing mountain views.

Finally, if you are using Lone Pine as a place to crash either before or after visiting Death Valley, Quality Inn is located right at the turn leading into the national park.

>> Book Hotel: Quality Inn

5. Cozy Muir Cottage Lone Pine

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.0 / 10
  • Google – N/A
Cozy Muir Cottage small one bedroom hour at night with lights on inside and small driveway
Cozy Muir Cottage Lone Pine – Photo Courtesy of Cozy Muir Cottage
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Rooms: One queen bed and one sofa bed
  • Amenities: WiFi, free parking, pet friendly, full kitchen,
  • Location: Center of Lone Pine

Cozy Muir Cottage is a one bedroom house located in a quiet residential area of Lone Pine, ranging in price from $98 per night in off season to $138 per night in peak season.

This is not a hotel, it is more of a vacation rental like you would get on airbnb or vrbo. You get the whole house with kitchen and bathroom, plus fenced back yard for the dogs.

Although there are no Google ratings yet (it doesn’t exist on Google but it is legit), Cozy Muir Cottage gets rave reviews on Booking.com. Everything from WiFi to comfort and location are top rated.

This is where to stay in Lone Pine CA if you are visiting for a longer period as you have access to a kitchen so you can cook meals. Eating out three times a day get expensive, fast!

>> Book Hotel: Cozy Muir Cottage

Where To Eat In Lone Pine CA

Once you’ve booked your hotel, it’s time to figure out the best places to eat for your stay in Lone Pine.

Here are the top rated places to grab food:

If you don’t want to do a sit down, you should head up to Castro’s Taco Stand or Tacos Los Hermanos near E Willow Street for quick, easy and great Mexican food.

Best Hotels In Lone Pine CA FAQ’s

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most frequently asked questions about where to stay in Lone Pine, California.

Is Lone Pine Worth Visiting?

Yes, Lone Pine is definitely worth visiting if you want to hike Mt Whitney, explore the Alabama Hills or spend a quiet night on a road trip between Death Valley and Yosemite or Lake Tahoe.

Which Hotels In Lone Pine CA Have The Highest User Ratings?

Dow Villa Motel and Portal Motel are the two hotels with the highest combined user ratings on Booking and Google in Lone Pine, CA.

What Are The Best Hotels Near Alabama Hills?

Any of the five Lone Pine hotels covered in this guide plus Ray’s Den Motel, Courtyard Motel and Mt Williamson Motel in nearby Independence can all be considered the best hotels near Alabama Hills.

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We hope this guide to the best Lone Pine CA hotels helps you book the perfect hotel for your visit to the California desert!

Please let us know if you have any questions about any of our best hotels near Lone Pine in the comments below.

Happy Booking,

Mark and Kristen
Best Hotels Anywhere