Mount Whitney looms over the tiny town of Lone Pine, a favorite location for Hollywood Westerns (most famously, the Lone Ranger series). Check out the schedule for the Old West film fest (Oct. 9–11; lonepinefilmfestival.org) before heading to the Alabama Hills for a hike—bouldering routes and big vistas included. Pick up a trail map and get debriefed at Lone Pine’s gear shop, Elevation ( sierraelevation.com). At day’s end, check in to a cabin at the Glacier Lodge in Big Pine (from $110; jewelofthesierra.com). The flowery curtains and vinyl seats will take you back at least half a century. All that’s missing, Kemo Sabe, is Tonto.
Meet Sierra Mountain Guides’ Neil Satterfield at the Black Sheep Espresso Bar in Bishop ( blacksheepcoffeeroasters.com) and follow him 20 minutes to the Owens River Gorge. The canyon boasts big features on volcanic tuff—great for any climber, with 5.6 routes all the way up to nasty 5.13d overhangs (full day, $175; sierramtnguides.com). Post-climb, rest weary tendons in Mammoth’s hot springs.
"The fall is my favorite time to fish: fewer crowds, not as hot, and you have a great chance to see beautiful colors,” says Gary Gunsolley, owner of Brock’s Flyfishing Specialists. Spend the morning dropping flies for Owens River browns and rainbows with Gary’s outfit, thankful for that small ribbon of clear flow left by L.A. city officials (half day, $300; brocksflyfish.com). Your night’s lodging: the Old House at Benton Hot Springs (doubles from $99; historicbentonhotsprings.com). Relax in one of the spring-fed redwood hot tubs and watch the moon rise over the White Mountains.