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 160+ 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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15 days in California BY A USER FROM CANADA July, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Las Vegas & Lee Vining BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in France & United States BY A USER FROM FRANCE June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Lee Vining BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 21 days in United States BY A USER FROM BELGIUM July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Lee Vining & Yosemite National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Well worth a stop, this less visited state park is on the north side of the lake. It has a wheel-chair accessible boardwalk. 
  • This was on my bucket list. I shot sunsets 3 days and they were all different but amazing. I was in Lee Vining to see this lake, one of the oldest if not the oldest lake in North America. No fish, jus...  more »
  • Enjoyed Mono lake! very nice views of the lake. It is sad to see the lake levels as they where and how they are now. Be aware of the many people that are visiting, just remember you are not the only o...  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.