Crowley Lake Waves

Lake Crowley is part of Long Valley Caldera which was formed 700,000 years ago after a massive volcanic eruption that threw rock and debris approximately 30 miles south to Bishop, California creating the Volcanic Tablelands. A recent post:  Hot Times at Hot Creek showed hot springs just north of Lake Crowley along the Owens River. The river flows into Crowley Lake and out the other end into a gorge (more later on this).

CrowleyLake cliff

Canada Geese take flight across the lake, not a common sight here. The cliff directly opposite this portion of the lake was created after the eruption when the valley floor collapsed several feet after the volcano exploded.

CrowleyLake ice

A black and white study of the icy shores. Since taking these photos, the weather has warmed and these icy waves are gone until the next freezing gale force winds.

CrowleyLake (7 of 10)

CrowleyLake (6 of 10)

CrowleyLake B/W

Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort is a few miles north of here. The ski season started with anticipation and enough snow to open the resort. But recently, there hasn’t been more than just a dusting and condo owners are wishing for a couple more feet of snow to bring in the renters! The warm weather has been melting the white caps of snow on the mountains.

CrowleyLake skin

When driving down to the shore of the lake the first time this year, I skirted around rather large mounds of what looked like cattle hides or some sort of animal skin. Even after getting out of the car and looking more closely, I still wasn’t sure it wasn’t skins as I could see hairs in the piles. The second visit, more winds had blown the ‘skin’ into many piles. This is normally part of the lake bottom, but due to the drought of recent years, there is a white ash like silica (much more prevalent last year when my feet sank to my ankles in it) that covers the ground. The hairy substance must come from the reeds and grasses.

The mountains in the back of the photo above are the Glass Mountains (full of obsidian). Since this is my third winter here, I have yet to see snow on these mountains in the caldera.

CrowleyLake grass

CrowleyLake white mans

Before the winds blew holes into the coating on the beach! The mountains in the far back are the White Mountains about 20 miles to the east.


The road behind me would eventually lead to the White Mountains. Ahead you can see that the mountain shadow from the Sierras in the west is slowly making it’s way across the valley. No, there’s not much traffic this time of year. During the summer, Crowley Lake is a favorite fishing spot, especially for boat owners.

9 Replies to “Frozen! Crowley Lake”

  1. It’s been a while since I was down in that area. You really captured some beautiful moments there in your pictures. The Mammoth Lakes area is another place worth checking out.


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