That mysterious lake in the Clint Eastwood movie High Plains Drifter   7 comments



High Plains Drifter is a classic Eastwood movie from the early seventies.  I think I have seen the movie 7 or 8 times.  And every time I watch it I am mesmerized by that beautiful lake.


High Plains Drifter is a 1973 American Western film, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood and produced by Robert Daley for The Malpaso Company and Universal Pictures. Eastwood plays a mysterious gunfighter hired by the residents of a corrupt frontier mining town to defend them against a group of criminals.




The film was shot on location on the shores of Mono Lake, California.

Mono Lake is a large, shallow saline soda lake in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago as a terminal lake in a basin that has no outlet to the ocean. The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. These salts also make the lake water alkaline.

This desert lake has an unusually productive ecosystem based on brine shrimp that thrive in its waters, and provides critical nesting habitat for two million annual migratory birds that feed on the shrimp.





Mono Lake

Max. length 15 km (9.3 mi)
Max. width 21 km (13 mi)
Surface area 45,133 acres (182.65 km2)
Average depth 17 m (56 ft)
Max. depth 48 m (157 ft)
Water volume 2,970,000 acre·ft (3.66 km3)
Surface elevation 6,383 ft (1,946 m) above sea level
Islands Two major: Negit Island and Paoha Island; numerous minor outcroppings (including tufa rock formations). The lake’s water level is notably variable.


Clint riding into the town of Lago, on the shore of Mono Lake.











In the movie they paint the town red to try and disorient the killers who are on their way.





The movie set (town of Lago) in the first picture, and the same location with the town gone in the second.










The most unusual feature of Mono Lake are its dramatic tufa towers emerging from the surface. These rock towers form when underwater springs rich in calcium mix with the waters of the lake, which are rich in carbonates. The resulting reaction forms limestone. Over time the buildup of limestone formed towers, and when the water level of the lake dropped the towers became exposed.










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Posted June 28, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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7 responses to “That mysterious lake in the Clint Eastwood movie High Plains Drifter

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  1. Pingback: HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER | Written in Blood

  2. … nicely done. I hope to visit there myself one day.

  3. Great movie,
    If I could meet one Special person
    In my life it would be Clint Eastwood.

  4. They actually painted it red to symbolize where they were going if they came back to Lago; hell. Great movie. Notice how he fades away as he rides away at the end into the desert – that’s to symbolize his spirit finally resting. Some don’t get the movie plot, that Eastwood’s character is the spirit of the sheriff that was whipped to death by that gang of three. He comes back to settle the score. Remember what is said just before Eastwood shoots the leader, Stacy: “Who are you?!” Eastwood: “You know who I am.”

  5. I recollect Eastwood saying ” I do not want to portray my role as a spirit, but, a brother of the murdered Sheriff ” Clint does not believe much in the ether world story telling. He tries to stick to realism. That is what makes his movies Great….they are real.

  6. Pingback: Tufa Towers of Mono Lake | The Scheherazade Chronicles

  7. A great movie! Didn’t he disappear at the end of the movie, or was that in another one?

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