Trip Planner:   USA  /  California  /  Lee Vining  /  Nature  /  Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, Lee Vining

(4.6/5 based on 180+ reviews on the web)
Visit the intriguing Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, around a lake which has no outlet. Just outside Yosemite National Park, the lake collects salt, supporting an unusual ecosystem. Brine shrimp thrive in the waters, and they attract migratory birds. Admire the otherworldly tufa towers, which are limestone formations that look like fairy castles rising from the clear water. A conservation committee that formed to protect the area offers seminars, traditional tours, and guided canoeing and bird watching jaunts. Visit the committee's website to check the tour calendar and book a spot. Put Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve into our Lee Vining vacation route planner to see other points of interest to visit during your vacation in Lee Vining.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This review pertains mostly to the South Tufa formations. We did stop at the Visitors Center, which provides parking and access to the tufa formation that this TripAdvisor location identifies, but it'...  more »
  • Easily visible from 395, 20 miles north of Mammoth Lake and a few minutes from Lee Vining and the Tioga Pass turn off to Yosemite, Mono Lake offers a unique piece of landscape that never looks the sam...  more »
  • I came here in Feb of last year and went back this year in early April. The weather was still nice and cool and the crowds were minimal (on a weekday). When there's no winds, the lake will reflect the...  more »
Google
  • Extraordinary place. We came here to photograph sunrise and it was by far one of the most beautiful I have ever witnessed. Super thick mudd made getting to the shoreline a bit challenging. Cool rock formations called Tufa towers lined the shores, lots of birds, lush grass marshes, wildflowers. Beautiful lake.
  • During summer, day time can be very hot. The early evening, with the backdrop, it's beautiful. Nature is amazing. The new visitor center is very nice as well. There are several ways that you can access to the lake as you drive along...
  • Beautiful lake, conveniently located next to the road. Worth a stop and walk around. There are a few picnic benches at the parking lot.
  • Really cool salt tufa sculptures all around. Costs a small fee for entry, but worth it! Right around the corner is the Panum Crater which is free and a cool observation point.
  • Great place to take photos & take in nature. Occasionally there are free educational tours to learn about the history & ecology of the park. Please make a donation.