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Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, Lee Vining

4.6
#2 of 10 in Things to do in Lee Vining
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
361 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Visiting this site was the main motivator for a 10 day California drive. I'd been wanting to visit and photograph the area for years and was not disappointed. In early June the area was uncrowded... 
    Visiting this site was the main motivator for a 10 day California drive. I'd been wanting to visit and photograph the area for years and was not disappointed. In early June the area was uncrowded...  more »
  • One of the most surreal places in this country I have ever been to. It is totally worth driving a bit out of your way and the short little trail to the lake and the really cool rock/salt... 
    One of the most surreal places in this country I have ever been to. It is totally worth driving a bit out of your way and the short little trail to the lake and the really cool rock/salt...  more »
Google
  • 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!
  • 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)

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