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

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, Lee Vining

4.6
#29 of 255 in Wildlife Areas in California
State Park Wildlife Area
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.
Create an itinerary including Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve
map

Plans in Lee Vining by other users

2 days in Lee Vining BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND July, teens, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Mammoth Lakes & Lee Vining BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM ITALY October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM GERMANY August, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 13 days in United States BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in United States BY A USER FROM ITALY October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, outdoors, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 37 days in United States & Manning Park BY A USER FROM POLAND May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Lee Vining & Yosemite National Park BY A USER FROM BELGIUM August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans

Plan your trip to Lee Vining

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Lee Vining

Browse hundreds of hotels and read guest reviews on the world's leading online travel agency website.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
TripAdvisor
Millions of travel reviews
on TripAdvisor
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
195 reviews
Google
4.5
  • It is amazing to see how many meters the Mono Lake has been retreating over the last decades. The Tufa that you can see now were under the water surface. It is a one hour easy walk through a bizarre l...  more »
  • Great visitor center and a really helpful staff. Ask them about hikes in the area and they will give you a lot of options and a simple map. Cool little museum for kids. Take water if you hike from the...  more »
  • There is a parking fee at this site. There are restrooms. Pathways lead down to the lake and by many tufa. There are interpretive signs along the wa.  more »
Google
  • The parking lot is quite a bit far from the actual stufas. It's a nice 20 minutes walk in the sun. Be sure to keep a sunscreen with you when you are planning to visit this place during the day. They're is a $3 fee at the parking lot. Be sure to carry the cash with you. If you are planning to come at night for some night photography keep a torch with you. It would be a great idea if you can reach your appt before or gets dark and lay your camp chair and wait for the moment. It gets real dark at night. And sounds a bit spooky due to the continuous sound of the waves around you. Place is awesome for astrophotography though. At night the lights from the freeway doesn't touch the end of boardwalk that often.
  • Beautiful location, interesting learning about the tufa formations. The museum has a nice gift shop and educational area, but the smell of the septic system from the bathroom was overwhelming.
  • This is a cool natural mountain lake. Great views of the surrounding mountains.
  • The rock formations are absolutely beautiful. The parking lot is tiny and can fit about 10 cars. The visitor center is at a different exit less than .25 miles away
  • 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...