Photographing Crane Lake Shut-Ins

Crane Lake Shut-Ins

There are times you arrive at a location just as conditions change.  This can be good or bad, but more importantly it is how you respond to those changes whether or not it will be memorable.

Taking it for Granite?

Missouri is home to several shut-ins, which is where water encounters granite and creates beautiful cascades and waterfalls.  In a previous article (Lon Sanders Canyon), it was discussed how some shut-ins loom in the midst of giants and are "forgotten" to the masses.  That is the fate of this area, Crane Lake Shut-Ins, but there will be no complaining from me.

Located near Arcadia, Missouri, this short canyon is part of the Mark Twain National Forest.  The reason most people visit this area is for the 100-acre Crane Lake, where the fishing is said to be good by locals.  Just below Crane Lake's dam is the home to the shut-ins.

To get to shut-ins,  park at the boat launch and look for the Ozark Trail which is to the left.  (If it has rained hard before your visit you may not be able to cross the stream before the parking area.) It is a little over a 1-mile hike and is fairly easy.    You know you have arrived when you see the ancient dam in the valley below.  Make your way down to granite rocks and the headwaters of the shut-ins. 

Get Home Alive

From here, there there is no trail and you must make your own way through dense growth and dangerous slippery granite.  If it has rained recently you may want to wait to visit this area, until the granite can dry a bit.  Like any shut-ins the probability of slipping is very high even with correct footwear.  It only takes one wrong foot placement to ruin a trip.  With that said, take your time and enjoy maneuvering between the granite landscape, looking for photo opportunities. 

Personal Notes

My recent trip was in a less than ideal.  Harsh light and high humidity made it more of a scouting trip, but what I did walk away with was encouraging and I am looking forward to visiting the shut-ins in better photographic conditions.


Be Advised: The map below shows Crane Lake Pond Rd going around the edge of the pond.  This is more of a  trail than a road.  The Ozark trail is on the opposite side and is the way to the shut-ins.

Crane Lake Shut Ins
Missouri Shut Ins

This you know, my beloved brethren.  But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger ... James 1:19