Lee Vining, California

Explore and Hike Mono Lake

Originally 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.

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Tags

Fishing
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

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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.

Very different

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

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.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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