Mono Lake

  based on 5 reviews   write a review

Lee Vining, California

Mono Lake Lee Vining Reviews

Africancrab Africanc…
773 reviews
One of the Oldest Lakes in the Western Hemisphere May 12, 2013
Located in Lee Vining at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains is Mono Basin.

Mono Lake is an ancient inland sea; one of the oldest lakes in the Western hemisphere. Its beauty is awe inspiring and hauntingly so. When we got to it, even from a distance the blue waters and white tufa towers sticking out were apparent. The tufas are an eerie mineral structures created by fresh water springs that get petrified through the water's alkaline waters. Of course this takes place over thousands of years.

The lake is home to migratory birds that feed on the lake flies, they like the alkali flies and small brine shrimp. We found a host of the California sea gulls. There are 325 recorded species of birds in the area making it a bird watchers paradise. For the photographer like me, the images to capture are unimaginable. By the time we arrived the bird population was incredibly large, by late bring it is recorded about 44,000 – 65,000 California sea gulls show up to breed. We saw a lot of the gulls and there were signs warning against getting close to the birds as breeding were in process.

The birds making such lovely sounds and it echoes in the distance

From the visitor center, there is an interpretive hiking trail that takes visitors all the way to the lake. Start with the visitor center to get information on all the activities you can engage in, plus the views from up there are breath-taking.

Guided tours are available upon request, plus you can watch a free movie.

PS: Do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today!
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Africancrab says:
Neither had I David, until we made this trip. I was pleasantly surprised.
Posted on: May 23, 2013
davidx says:
Looks terrific - I'd never even heard of it!
Posted on: May 22, 2013
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
jimcat49 jimcat49
2 reviews
Awesome Photography May 22, 2011
Mono Lake is always changing - now that water has been channeled back to the lake, it's interesting to see where it will eventually rise to.

However the tufa formations (auto access, south offUS 395)

provide for great photography, especially at sunrise and sunset.

Lodging in Lee Vining is about average in cost.

Mammoth Lakes - less than an hour south.
Jim - Kuranda, AU 2010
portia portia
216 reviews
Aug 18, 2007
Mono Lake is a beautiful, different (with strange looking tufas), and large saline inland lake at the eastern side of the Sierra range in California (near Nevada). It has no outlets and the water is 3 times more salty than the Pacific Ocean! The tufas are the most unique features of the lake, these are calcium deposits from bubbling spring waters and form underwater. When the water level dropped, they became visible. The tufas are so alien looking that Mono Lake is one of the favorite spots for photographers looking for unique landscapes!

The lake has no fish, but a special shrimp called brine shrimp have evolved here. The shrimps and alkali flies which spent its larval and pupal stages in the water. The flies cluster around the waterline and are favorite foods for visiting birds! The California gulls can be seen running along the shore, stirring up clouds of flies, and eating them in the air with its beak snapping. It's quite a funny sight. Depending on the season, different migratory birds stop here. In July and August, Wilson's Pharalopes stop here before going to South America, they spin in circles near shore, making vortexes and trapping brine shrimp or fly larvae.

One can even kayak on the lake, in addition to walking along its shorelines. They have "star talks" at summer nights, which sounded really interesting, the stars here are amazing.

It's a good idea to start your visit at the visitor center, where you can learn the history of the lake and the people who used to live here.
Tufa at South Tufa of Mono Lake
Mono Lake from South Tufa
Exhibit at Mono Lake Visitor Center
A male and female brine shrimp mod…
mickey123 says:
ho~ vety interesing! thanks for the good reivew!
Posted on: Oct 29, 2007
portia says:
Mono lake has quite an environmental following in California and is a favorite for photographers. Do try to visit if you ever come this way!
Posted on: Oct 29, 2007
eurowestgirl says:
My fiance and I kayaked Mono a few years ago. It was quite an experience! Thanks for sharing your pics!!
Posted on: Oct 29, 2007
X_Drive X_Drive
836 reviews
Jul 26, 2006
At the eastern edge of Yosemite, on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada range is one of the oldest lakes in the western hemisphere. Mono Lake fills a natural basin, 695 square miles in size, and reflects snow-capped Sierra Nevada in its shimmering blue waters. Together with nearby volcanoes, ghost towns and trout-filled streams, this area is a natural wonderland for the entire family. The town of Lee Veining is quite nearby and offers information on boating, fishing, camping or rooms available. At almost 6,500 feet above sea level summer is the most active time for this area. Snow and ice are the rule in winter. And much like the Great Salt Lake in Utah, it is quite easy to float in this lake.
Eric Eric
408 reviews
Mar 28, 2006
Mono Lake is a huge, beautiful lake located north of Mammoth along highway 395. The tourist center provides a wealth of information and does a great job of explaining the political and ecological history of the area. Starting in 1941, the city of Los Angeles began diverting water from rivers that fed the lake into its aqueducts. By 1962, the water level had already dropped 25 vertical feet. The Mono Lake committee was formed to protect the livelihood of the lake in 1978.If you are driving along the 395 and in the area, it's worth stopping by and taking a look.
View of the lake.
Outside the visitor's center.
Eric says:
haha, angie didn't think it looked so beautiful. but i like it!
Posted on: Mar 31, 2006
cynthia says:
did you and angie stop and jump in? haha..jk, it looks really beautiful...
Posted on: Mar 29, 2006

Related Travel Blogs About Mono Lake

Lee Vining --> Mono Lake --> Bodie
Our first stop today was Mono Lake which is located just a stone's throw away from Lee Vining. The lake is famous for its exposed tufa towers. These fascinating structures are usually located beneath…Mono Lake which is located just a stone's throw away from Lee Vining. The lake is famous for its exposed…
Mono Lake and the Tufa
We climbed in the SUV and headed north up 395 to the town of Lee Vining and Mono Lake to see the lake, tufa mounds, birds and flies.  Cindy had never been to Mono before and the last time that I…Lee Vining and Mono Lake to see the lake, tufa mounds, birds and flies.  Cindy had never been to Mono
Nearly Home!
Pick up the kids (our two chihuahuas) and head for home. Back to our own bed! Up early, down for one final breakfast at the hotel, checked out of our suite and loaded the car and off to pick up our…Mono Lake and Lee Vining. At Lee Vining we make a right turn and head up into the mountains…

Check Lee Vining Hotel Deals

Mono Lake Map
1 review
1 review - $135
Lee Vining