The Lake Crowley Stone Columns are beautiful natural columns, that is located off Highway 395 in California. The stone columns are amazing to see, and it made me feel like I was in another country! While it is not entirely known what caused the stone columns to form, some believe it’s related to a volcanic explosion many years ago. 

lake crowley stone columns

When To Go

The best times to see the stone columns is Spring and Fall. If the water levels in Lake Crowley are too high (typically in the summer), the stone columns may be underwater, and you won’t be able to see the full stone columns. 

stone columns off highway 395
stone columns

Directions & Parking

DIRECTIONS

Enter “Trail Head for Crowley Lake Stone Columns” on Google Maps 

From Highway 395, exit Owens Gorge Rd, and follow the road for ~10 minutes. You will cross a 1-lane bridge, drive uphill, then make a SHARP left turn onto a dirt path. Follow the dirt path for a very short distance, then after passing the 2 cinder blocks, turn RIGHT to park.  

Owens Gorge Rd becomes a 1-lane road for a short distance
directions to lake crowley stone columns
Be careful of falling rocks on the road

PARKING 

For Tesla cars (and non-4WD vehicles), park at “Trail Head for Crowley Lake Stone Columns” on Google Maps. 

  • If you go any further, there are many bumps and potholes in the road, that would make it extremely difficult, if you don’t have a 4WD.  
  • From this parking spot, hike ~2 miles to the Stone columns 

For 4WD vehicles, you can drive further in and park at (37.60758979145056, -118.7190425536327)

potholes lake crowley
One of several potholes on the way to Lake Crowley Stone Columns

What to Bring

  • Sunglasses / Sunscreen / Hat
    • This trail is 100% exposed to the sun, so be prepared
  • Water 
  • Hiking stick / Shoes
    • Not absolutely necessary, but is helpful for the short, steep downhill portion to the columns
  • Camera!
lake crowley

Hiking

  • Distance = 2 miles each way from non-4WD parking lot
  • Type: Out-and-back trail 
  • Duration = 2-4 hours (depending on how long you spend at the Stone Columns) 
  • Difficult = Easy – Moderate
    • The majority of the hike is flat, however at the very end there is a steep hill to get down to the columns 
  • Directions
    • From the 1st parking spot to where 4WD vehicles park, walk along a dirt road that is relatively flat and easy
    • There are a few turns in the road, so pull out your Google maps, and enter directions to “Crowley Lake Stone Columns.”  I actually had cell reception (using AT&T)
      • Walk along the main road, at the 1st T intersection, turn Right to follow the main road
      • At the 2nd T intersection, turn RIGHT to follow the main road
      • Then Bear left, and turn RIGHT at the Y intersection 
      • When you get to the dead end, you’ll see a beautiful view of Lake Crowley and the columns are on the right side
    • To get down to the stone columns, it is a short, but steep path. The path is easy to follow. The ground is made of soft dirt, which makes it easier to hike down, but a bit harder to hike back up. 
lake crowley stone columns aerial view
View from the Top
how to get to lake crowley stone columns
Steep Hill but soft sand

Once you reach the beach, there are many stone columns and caves both to the left and to the right! Take your time and explore! 

caves in lake crowley
stone columns

Other Details

  • No restrooms available 
  • No trash cans available (pack in & pack out)
  • Dog Friendly  – Yes
    • My dogs loved this place. They couldn’t resist the temptation to swim in Lake Crowley! We saw some ducks and boats in the lake, too. 
dog friendly lake crowley
Dog Friendly

Conclusion

I absolutely love the Lake Crowley Stone Columns! It is a hidden gem in California, and we stopped by here during our Tesla Roadtrip to Mammoth Lakes as it is only 30 minutes away. I highly recommend checking out this magical place if you can. 

I also created a “Tesla Roadtrip Packing List,” so if you’re interested, be sure to check that out! It is also available on my Etsy shop

DISCLAIMER

The opinions and views expressed on this blog are solely personal, Everyday Chris.  Everyday Chris is not affiliated with or endorsed by Tesla. It is neither inferred nor implied that products recommended by Everyday Chris nor recommendations given by Everyday Chris are authorized by or in any way connected to Tesla. This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full Terms & Conditions for more information. 

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