Wild Logo v4

10 Intriguing Things to Do at Crowley Lake, CA

From trout fishing and waterskiing to hiking and exploring the famous Columns, Crowley Lake has something for everyone. 
Lake Crowley Columns in California
Unusual natural landscapes- The Crowley Lake Columns in California, USA.
Source: dreamstime

Lake Crowley is a beautiful reservoir located in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains of California. 

It’s a popular destination for many outdoor activities—perfect for escaping the busy city life!

From trout fishing and waterskiing to hiking and exploring the famous Crowley Lake Columns, this lake has something for everyone. 

Surrounded by towering mountains, many people visit this stunning place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. 

If you’re wondering what activities you can do at Lake Crowley, keep reading for some fun ideas!

1. Explore the Crowley Lake Columns

The Crowley Lake Columns in California, USA
Source: dreamstime

The Crowley Lake Columns are unique geological formations made up of thousands of hexagonal columns that rise up from the shore of the lake. 

They’re like something out of a science fiction movie!

Formed by columnar jointing, this natural phenomenon occurs when lava or ash cools and contracts. 

Here are some tips for visiting the Crowley Lake Columns:

  • You’ll need a 4WD vehicle to get close to the columns. 
  • The road is unpaved and steep in places, it’s not suitable for cars.
  • Alternatively, you can hike the 4.2-mile (out and back) Crawley Columns Trail.
  • The best time to visit the columns is when the water levels are low.

2. Rent a Boat and Go Cruising

Crowley Lake is a great place to cruise around. 

You can rent a pontoon boat from the Crowley Lake Fish Camp and explore the lake at your own pace. 

Take in the stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountains, or take breathtaking photos of the wildlife and eye-catching scenery.

However, it’s important to check the weather forecast before you go, as well as the water levels.

Also, ensure you have all the necessary safety equipment on your boat. 

Finally, be respectful of other boaters and the wildlife.

3. Go Trout Fishing

Crowley Lake is a highly-rated trout fishing destination, with rainbow trout, brown trout, and kokanee salmon all making their home in the lake. 

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, you’re sure to have a great time fishing there.

You can fish from shore, a boat, or a float tube. 

And if you’re not sure where to start, plenty of experienced anglers at the fish camp will be happy to give you some tips.

The best time to fish at Crowley Lake is in the spring or fall when the water is cooler, and the fish are more active. 

But you can also catch trout in the summer if you know where to look!

If you like fishing, paddling, and boating, consider other lakes in the area.

4. Consider Waterskiing and Wakeboarding

Panoramic view of Crowley lake Marina in Sierra Nevada Mountains
Source: dreamstime

Did you know that Crowley Lake is one of only three lakes in Mono County that allow jet skis and powerboats?

The calm and clear lake is perfect for different water sports, including waterskiing and wakeboarding. 

Further, the towering mountains as a backdrop make for some amazing views and plenty of Instagram-worthy photos!

5. Rent Kayaks and Explore the Shoreline

For those seeking a more intimate experience with nature, Crowley Lake Fish Camp offers the perfect opportunity with their kayak rentals. 

These kayaks are not only a tranquil way to navigate the shimmering waters of Crowley Lake, but they also allow adventurers to glide closer to the lake’s shoreline, unveiling hidden nooks and crannies. 

As you paddle, the gentle ripples of the water might just lead you to unexpected wildlife encounters.

6. Stay in Crowley Lake RV Park

Crowley Lake RV Park is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a relaxing and convenient basecamp for your adventures at Crowley Lake. 

The park offers full hook-up RV sites as well as tent camping and cabins.

The RV sites are spacious and well-maintained, and they all have access to water, sewer, and electricity. 

There is also a dump station and a laundry facility on site. 

The park is pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friends along for the ride!

With a convenience store on-site, you can stock up on supplies without having to leave the park.

Finally, the park is just a short walk from the lake, so you can easily access all of the activities that Crowley Lake has to offer.

7. Go Hiking in the Eastern Sierra

Dirt hiking trail in McGee Creek near Mammoth Lakes in California`s Eastern Sierra. Hazy summer day, wildflowers near the trail
Source: dreamstime

The Eastern Sierra is a hiker’s paradise, with many trails to choose from for all levels of experience. 

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging trek, you’re sure to find a trail that’s perfect for you.

Here are some of the best hiking trails nearby, in addition to the Crowley Columns Trail:

  • Convict Lake Loop: A 2.5-mile loop trail that’s easy to navigate, taking an hour to complete. It’s busiest between June and November. A perfect trail for those seeking a short, scenic route.
  • Hot Creek Trail: A 1.6-mile out-and-back trail, considered easy with a completion time of under an hour. Popular for activities like cross-country skiing, as it remains open year-round. 
  • Big McGee Lake: Challenge yourself with this 15.2-mile out-and-back trail. Taking over 8 hours to complete, it’s an adventurous choice for those looking to camp or engage in a longer hike.

8. Get a Deli at the Nearby General Store

After a long day of exploring Crowley Lake and the Eastern Sierra, there’s nothing better than a warm meal.

Crowley Lake General Store is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. 

It serves a range of delicious dishes, from sandwiches to pizza and pasta.

And if you’re looking for something sweet, try the homemade pies and cakes!

9. Soak in the Views at Wild Willy’s Hot Spring

Wild Willy`s Hot Spring in Long Valley, Mammoth Lakes, Mono County, California. USA. Natural hot springs from old volcanic activity.
Source: dreamstime

Just a brief drive from Crowley Lake, Wild Willy’s Hot Spring is one of Mammoth Lakes’ prized landmarks. 

Nestled off Highway 395, this oasis beckons travelers with the promise of serene waters and mesmerizing surroundings. 

The journey itself is a fun adventure: a rugged drive down Benton Crossing Road followed by a picturesque stroll on an elevated wooden pathway.

10. Try Bird-Watching

If you’re about relaxing and enjoying nature, you’ll love bird-watching at Crowley Lake.

The lake is home to a variety of birds, including ducks, geese, pelicans, and eagles. 

The surrounding area is also the natural habitat of hawks, owls, and songbirds.

You Might Also Like: