Explore and Hike Mono Lake

Yosemite Mono Lake Tufta Reserve

Added by Justin Ritucci

  • Explore one of the oldest lakes in North America
  • Photograph the unique shoreline
  • Duration: 1-2 hours

Mono Lake is was formed at least 760,000 years ago, making it one of North America's oldest lake. Explore the coastline of this unique lake filled with unusual rock formations called tufas. Photograph the tufa towers with the majestic mountains in the background. The towers can make for some very dramatic photos, especially at sunset.

The water has a very high salt levels which makes a swim in the lake a very memorable experience. Boats are also allowed on the lake. Mono lake is also a very popular spot for bird photography.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Water
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Fishing, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

3 months ago

Unique Photo Opportunities

Mono Lake is extremely easy to access. It is literally a couple hundred yards off of Hwy 395. The Lake is very strange, but it does offer some unique photo opportunities because of how different it is from most alpine lake.

3 months ago

6 months ago

Very different

This place is completely different than any other lake in the area, and well worth a trip to see.

6 months ago

about 1 year ago

Otherworldly

The mineral spires or "Tufas" definitely make for an intriguing and abnormal sight. I checked out the NW lake access off Cemetery road as well as the South Tufa Reserve. The South was far more impressive. If you are heading this way on 120 be sure to look to the right at the fields of shrubbery and eerie leafless bushes. On a rainy day the colors are vibrant and the fields appear bright red. Also if you want a high level view of the lake, take 395 North about 7-10 minutes around a bend. There is a viewing platform / vista which yields cool views.

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

Interesting spot. Not a whole lot going on at the Tufa's, get there at sunset or at night for more interesting photo opportunities. Overall, kinda meh in the daytime.

over 1 year ago

almost 2 years ago

What an Odd and Interesting Place.

almost 2 years ago

almost 2 years ago

Many different locations to visit around the lake. Can be very windy but offered some great bird watching and photography opportunities. They do ask that you donate at the South Tufa entrance. Also, Lee Vining has a couple shops with information about the lake and its history. Free stickers!

almost 2 years ago

almost 2 years ago

Such a fascinating place and definitely offers many photographic opportunities, especially for starry night skies. Beautiful place to visit!

almost 2 years ago

Added by Justin Ritucci

I like to explore.

More Adventures Nearby

Backpack Gem Lake Loop in Emigrant Wilderness

Yosemite / Crabtree Trailhead

The Gem Lake Loop is located in Emigrant Wilderness, which borders Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park, and offers incredible views, smaller crowds, and diverse terrain.

Nancy Lappetito
4 Saves

Snowshoe to Dewey Point, Yosemite NP

Yosemite / Dewey Point

Take the one-hour shuttle ride from the Yosemite Lodge to the Yosemite Ski Area, so that you don't have to worry about driving in the snowy conditions, or finding parking.

Julie & Brian
9 Saves

Explore Aguereberry Camp

Yosemite / Aguereberry Camp, Death Valley

Pete Agueberry came Death Valley in 1905. After a legal battle, Pete gained control of the Eureka Mine in 1909. He worked the mine alone for nearly 40 years before his death.

John Maurizi
3 Saves