2nd April 2023
Crowley Lake Columns: Strange Eastern side Lake Formations
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Crowley Lake Columns: Strange Eastern side Lake Formations

The columns of Crowley Lake are a mysterious location that many people pass by along Highway 395.  These natural columns are not easy to reach, but they reward any adventurer who makes their way out to see them.

If you want to check it out, here’s the information. Note that the level of water can be very high and that, because of water levels, access is not always possible as mentioned in this post. You can’t do it without four wheel drives, too.


From Bishop, you will take Highway 395 onto Benton Crossing Street, which has all the hot springs. From there, as it goes up to the mountains, you can then turn around the lake and go east side.

About 2 miles after passing the gravel road called Layton Springs Lane, you’ll see a dirt road to the right. I would highly recommend the satellite view on Google Maps for this section as it is easy to get lost with all of the different offshoots on the road.

Also, it is good to have a GPS location, as well. You will drive along this dirt road for about 15 minutes as you make your way to the beach. When you reach the beach, you can continue to drive left if your car can do it, or you can park here and hike along the beach to the left to eventually reach the columns.

I would highly recomended not making the drive to the beach without 4WD. There were massive potholes in the road, a few steep sections of sand, and even some rocks jutting out from the road. It was not bad with 4WD, but I wouldn’t do it without.

When you finally make it to the beach, you can drive along the sand or park and head southeast along the beach till you see the columns in front of you.

The Columns

Depending on the water level, you can walk along the beach for a half-mile or so, seeing all of the columns as they go on for quite a while.

Some are small and not defined, while others are 15 feet tall.

There are many small caves that you can explore while you are hiking around.

The best area to see the columns is about a half-mile walk along the beach, and they include columns that are about 15 feet high. You can even walk around these as they go back about 4 feet into the rock.

When you get up close to the columns, you will notice they are coarse to the touch.

After spending some time exploring, you can head back the way you came. Note again that the water level could be higher after a good rainy season, and you may not be able to get to them.

Do make sure that if you go, you protect these rock formations as they are old pieces of history that should be preserved and this is a great place to explore.