Monday, April 12, 2010

Inyo Crater Lake

(GPS: N37 41.610 W119 00.250)

There are a lot of areas I show that I never feel that great about the pictures or the video I take. Usually, it means I have arrived at the area too early in the morning or there are other factors like bad weather involved. I always tell myself that I can just come back some other time, but it may be years before I do that. This is one of those times that I think the area is really cool, but I knew going that it might turn out this way.

This begins a bunch of blogs dedicated to a day I spent in Mammoth, CA last year. Normally, I stay away from Mammoth because it is a little too touristy. I am not saying it is a bad place to go because there is a lot of stuff to explore there. It just usually turns out that it is a little too populated during the times I go. Let's put it this way, it is the only place I drive by that I might encounter traffic and slow down the drive...and I do not drive that fast! ;) I do intend to go back at later time for some things I want to figure out.

In any case, I think some of the best stuff I got to was later in the day. It will take a few blog entries to get to those. I still want to cover this area and the next area I went to on this day.
The Mono-Inyo area is filled with many craters. I have shown a few in the past. This one I had always read about, but had never visited so I wanted to cram this one in as the first thing I visited on that morning last August. After a short drive on the Mammoth Scenic Loop Road, we drove a few interconnected dirt roads, and then hiked about a 1/2 mile to the two craters.

I am only going show a few pictures of the southern crater. The northern one is interesting too. It does have a lake, but there are many trees in the crater. The southern crater is a lot more opened up. There is another crater further north that can be hiked to, but I did not even bother going to that.
From what I have read, this was not a volcanic eruption. Basically, moltan rock heated up some water underneath creating steam. The pressure blew off the top of the crater. The lake is supposed to be shaped like a wine glass in that if you were to go down it would get more skinny. I actually waited around on this one hoping the shadow would go away. I would have to spend a few hours here during the middle of the day to get the pictures I was really after; I know others have done just that on the web so you can search others sites for that. We really had to keep our schedule for the day so we took off back to the car.

Refer to the Inyo Craters Section in this link.

Wikipedia article on the Mono-Inyo Craters

My Video on this one:

Inyo Crater Lake (Youtube Version)

Inyo Crater Lake (Vimeo Version)