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Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, Lee Vining

4.6
Volcano · Island
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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. Our Lee Vining journey planner makes visiting Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve and other Lee Vining attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
364 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Mono Lake Tufa State Natural reserve is in the Mono country in the eastern California. It was established to preserve the natural limestone "tufa tower" formation in the Mono lake. 
    Mono Lake Tufa State Natural reserve is in the Mono country in the eastern California. It was established to preserve the natural limestone "tufa tower" formation in the Mono lake.  more »
  • After reading review and forum comments we knew we needed to get up early as we left June Jake headed to Tahoe so we could catch the tufas at sunrise. 5 miles off the highway took us to the best... 
    After reading review and forum comments we knew we needed to get up early as we left June Jake headed to Tahoe so we could catch the tufas at sunrise. 5 miles off the highway took us to the best...  more »
  • This is a popular spot for photographers and on an October Friday morning before sunrise, I was not alone here. About 10 photographers has shown up in the hour and a half that I was there, but it... 
    This is a popular spot for photographers and on an October Friday morning before sunrise, I was not alone here. About 10 photographers has shown up in the hour and a half that I was there, but it...  more »
Google
  • Incredible scenery! Well worth the stop to stretch your legs while driving the 395. Tip: Bring lots of water for yourself and any four legged friends. The trail between the lower parking lot and visitors info center may only be a little over 1 mile but the climb feels much further due to the heat and wind
  • Really good visitor center included just right length movie theater, great interactive displays, photos and tons of info. Nice easy trails with lots of signage and story boards. Instead of the 1 mile each way hike to the lake we went to the State park and paid the $3 parking to shorten the walk and still got a full measure of it all. Great experience!
  • Easy access to the Lake and walking path. Not far off the main hwy. There are bathrooms and a paybox, $3 per car to park and explore. The walking is not difficult, but can be muddy by the lake so your sandals may not be the best choice๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ’œ
  • A beautiful and informative stop along the 395 highway. The visitor center was closed when we passed by, but there is a little nature walk and just a bit further there is picnic area with access to the lake, which is very interesting to see and learn about. Never knew what as Tufa was before! (See photos)
  • Beautiful place, great for photography. Be cautious walking closer to the formations, the ground is like quick sand and slippery, lots of flying bugs. I took a funny tumble when my leg sank in. My best friend had her fair share of laughs. Definitely don't wear your favorite shoes lol

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