Photo by m01229
The often-overlooked community of Crowley Lake is worth considering if you’re in the market for a house in Mammoth Lakes. Heading south on U.S. 395 from Mammoth Lakes, you’ll hit Crowley Lake in 15 minutes. And in those 15 minutes, you’ll drive past stunning Mt. Morrison, Mammoth Yosemite Airport, McGee Creek and Crowley Lake with mountain vistas behind it.
Small town Crowley Lake life isn’t for everyone, but here are some of the best things about living there.
1. It’s the perfect mix of rural and suburban.
A population of 875 doesn’t feel suburban, but the way the town is designed with true neighborhoods is reminiscent of suburban living. Yet in the summer you might notice hundreds of head of cattle at pasture along the highway near the Crowley Lake exits. And with thousands of acres of protected public lands right behind the community, there’s endless exploring to be done. Locals occasionally balk at the 15-minute drive to Crowley Lake, but many urban clients I work with drive farther than that to a Starbucks in the same town!
2. You get more bang for your buck.
Comparable houses in Crowley Lake typically sell for less than they would in Mammoth Lakes. Plus the houses in Crowley Lake are set up with families and long-term residents in mind — nightly rentals aren’t allowed, and many properties have fenced in yards and oversized garages for boat storage. If that’s what you’re looking for, your budget will go farther and get you more of what you want in Crowley.
3. You’ll spend less time shoveling snow.
Crowley Lake averages far less snow than Mammoth Lakes in the winter. While it can get colder thanks to an inversion layer, the bulk of the snowfall happens in the 1,000+ feet of elevation gain up between Crowley and Mammoth. Plus Crowley is less tree-filled, meaning the snow melts out a bit faster there. If you’d like to hire a company to manage your snow removal in Crowley Lake, there are options for that too.
4. You’re a bit closer to Bishop and Southern California.
With talks of commercial air service starting up in Bishop in 2020, being just 30 minutes from that airport could be convenient, and you’re still just 15 minutes from Mammoth Yosemite Airport. If you’re driving between Southern California and the Eastern Sierra, cutting 15 minutes off the drive is helpful too. For convenience, there is a bus stop that provides daily service to Mammoth and Bishop.
5. You won’t just have mountain views, you’ll have lake views.
If views are what you’re after, Crowley Lake is definitely worth a look. Some homes feature both mountain and lake views, plus the community is studded with aspens for a true mountain feel. I’ve seen several properties with creeks and streams running right through the backyard, and when you add that to amazing mountain vistas and sunrises over the lake, it’s hard to beat.
6. There’s a neighborhood pizza and coffee shop.
While you’ll have to go to Mammoth Lakes or Bishop for groceries, doctor appointments and pharmacies, you can grab a bite to eat right in the neighborhood. The Crowley Lake General Store is more than just a gas station and tackle shop. They have a full kitchen where they make delicious pizzas, sandwiches and espresso drinks, and they also have a big grab-and-go cooler of prepared food. They also sell all the basics… propane, tire chains and wine!
7. You’ll be part of a small community.
If you like small town life, you’ll love living in Crowley Lake. Anytime it’s not snowing, you’ll see parents pushing their kids in strollers, kids running to and from the skate park, neighbors watering their gardens and anglers prepping for a day on the lake. You’ll see familiar faces everywhere you go, and anytime it feels a bit too small for you, pop up to Mammoth Lakes for a town day or drive a couple of hours to Carson City or Reno.
Crowley Lake also has a community center that hosts multiple exercise classes, has a full kitchen, and is available to local residents to host gatherings like weddings and parties. Also part of the community facilities is a newly completed skate park with full restrooms and drinking fountains. Just a bit farther up the hill by the Sheriff substation you’ll find a beautiful park with a great playground area for the kiddos right next to the library.
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