2022 Aug 13 | Ogii birthday in Mammoth - Crowley Lake stone columns, hot springs

Present #12.

Diamond infinity bracelet.

Birthday cake from her coworkers with a hidden rainbow layer inside.

Opening presents from her family and Mom and Dad.

All kinds of good stuff.

Hand-crafted box from her sister.

Really neat.

Pop-up card from me.

Present #13.

Maps necklace.

Of Ulaanbaatar.

Birthday cake.

Blowing out her candles while her sister via phone and I sing happy birthday.

With steak.

Multiple layers inside.

Two bunnies.

Foggy morning.

We drove to Mammoth on Friday night. There was a meteor shower, so we watched for those. We each saw a few.

They just left the key at the front desk rather than stay up.

There's a spa and stream room at our hotel, but I think we'll be out all day.

There's a pool hall upstairs, but it was closed.

Giant book in the waiting room.

Wait a minute, they installed the right drawer upside down.

Right across the road is The Stove for breakfast.

Pies and an old stove.

Good food.

A mobile of cooking utensils.

Pretty fields and mountains.

Cool red and white striped rock.

The white scattered around.

Big house on a hill.

We first went to the Crowley Lake stone columns. This is why we drove the RAV4: the road is pretty bumpy.

Although we didn't want to try to go through this next section, maybe get stuck, and wait around a few hours for a tow truck, so we decided to walk the rest of the way.

Those are some pretty big holes, and it's only a 2-mile hike each way.

Ogii on the way up.

Me headed along the trail.

There were some birds.

And lizards.

And grasshoppers.

We got to the inner parking lot, although so far, nobody else had tried driving in.

There were some people fishing and skiing on the lake.

You can see the columns down there.

After a last little hiking section, we made it down.

The columns are pretty big.

You can see a water line halfway up them.


A little cairn.

From inside.

There's a bit deeper cave.

Although it doesn't go too far.

Swallow nests.

Ogii is happy.

Me from inside.

Her inside.

Stepping on some rocks out into the lake.

Hiking back up.

Her she comes.

At the top.

One last look.

There was a couple that was leaving as we were arriving, and another couple coming as we were leaving. Not too busy.

They actually drove their Jeep Grand Cherokee across the deep bumps. They and RAV4s have similar clearance, around 8 inches, so maybe we could have made it.

Another car that made it past the big bumps.

This one is a 4Runner, which has a bit more clearance.

Passing each other. We thought maybe the Jeep would offer us a ride, but no such luck. We were almost there, anyway.

We thought this was a drive-in movie screen at first, but I think it's just an unused billboard.

Back to the parking area.

Ogii in one of the holes.

The big concrete blocks are at the entrance. Maybe they don't want any really wide trucks coming in?

Single-lane road.

Down to the lake.

Across a bridge.

Google Maps says to turn right here and take the dirt road for a bit, but then it just merges back into the paved road, so maybe they were doing construction on the paved road, it was closed off, someone told Google Maps that, and they never updated that the paved road was back to normal again?

Tree growing out of a rock.

Their fence posts are rocks wrapped in wire.

You can just make out the columns across the lake from the highway.

There are a ton of dirt roads to the east of the highway.

Which connect all of the hot springs. Most have small parking areas.

A very short walk.

First stop: Rock Tub hot spring.

Beautiful view with the mountains.

It was quite warm.

The road to the next one had more sharp rocks to avoid.

Beautiful view over the plain.

Second stop: Crab Cooker hot spring.

Ogii just put her feet in it.

Because this one wasn't hot at all. Although that's what the internet had said for about a year.

This hole nearby has hot water, though, and the pipe to the tub is hot the entire way until just at the tub, so maybe they just need to clear away a little bit of debris at the end?

Walking in the grass.

Some people were actually camping right up the hill from the spring. In fact, people were camped all along the dirt roads here; it's legal to camp anywhere over here.

The hot springs are all quite close to each other.

Parking for the next one.

A little gated area.

Stone path.

Tiny bridge.

Flowers. Also notice the cows in the background; they didn't seem to mind people.

A big bee.

Longer bridge.

Third stop: Hilltop Hot Spring.

This one actually had two inlets, one hot, one cold, so you could adjust the temperature.

Again, beatiful mountains in the back.

There was a little step stool and some artificial turn to step on, too.

Ogii testing out the hot water; don't burn yourself.

Then only an eight-minute drive to the next one.

Across the road.

Google Maps said the entrance a bit farther away, but that had been closed and this one opened.

A lot more people here.

A porta-potty and a dumpster.

More upscale walkway.

The springs below.

This one actually had two springs: a longer one.

And a rounder one, which some people say is shaped like a heart.

Us in the round one of stop number four: Willy's Hot Spring.

The larger one was our favorite spring to sit in.

You had more space.

And the different sections were different temperatures.

A few other people were there.

Ogii wetting her hair.

Stay on the trail.

More cows close by.

To get to the next stop, we can either drive straight through on the dirt roads, or go back to the highway.

We took the highway this time. What are these?

Ah, hangers for the local airport. There's a small plane that goes to San Francisco (and I think Los Angeles), but that's only during winter when more people come to ski.

Next we checked out the Hot Creek Geological Site. There's a nice view from the east of it called Bree's Outlook.


Some people drove these ATVs instead of cars.

The hot springs are heated by underlying magma.

The bright blue area is extremely hot.

In fact, while you can sit in the other hot springs, you can't go into the water here.

Because not only is the bright blue water super hot, other areas can randomly become so at any time.

Another view from the top.

Lots of green algae.

We got some barbeque at the Mammoth Smoke Shack.

While waiting for our food, we checked out the Fun Shop, which had a lot of scientific toys.

Lunch time.

A bunch of baby bears climing the sign.

There's a trolley that goes around town which is free.

Back to the dirt roads to the east of town for sunset.

The clouds lit up nice and pink above the hot spring.

More bright colors.

We can see on our phone a map of where we took pictures; that's neat.


A Christmast tree in Mammoth.