LONG trip to Mono Lake

Thursday, June 09, 2016
Lee Vining, California, United States
Once we were done spending the night in Mina, we asked the manager at the RV park if the road over to Mono Lake along highway 360 then 6 then 120 over to 395 going north to the Mono Lake Visitor's Center. She said, "It's a nice drive through forests and valley". But....she said nothing about 11% up and down grade. Ye gad....what a road! Up....at 15mph, then dowwwwwwwwwnnnnn!!!! It took us over 3 hours to go the 100+ miles....

But...some very nice scenery as we travelled, including some terrific vistas of the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.

When we finally got to Mono Lake, we stopped at the Visitor's Center to see what the big deal was. Great birding location.

Years ago, the lake was much higher, but LA came and grabbed a couple of the input streams and diverted those waters down to their city for the water supply and Mono Lake levels dropped. Since then, they've recovered somewhat due to a new agreement between LA and Mono Lake. I'm over simplifying what is a BIG history lesson.
We only stayed long enough to view the lake and walk through the center....we still had a few hours left to travel ahead of us.

Call them weird, call them bizarre, call them what you will, but the unusual rock formations that grace Mono Lake's shores are known to geologists as tufa (too'-fah).
Tufa forms in a variety of ways at Mono Lake, but the most visible and remarkable formations are the towers that grace Mono's shoreline.
The greatest concentration of these towers is located at the South Tufa grove just off of Hwy 120 East, at the south end of Mono Lake.

As we climbed out of the valley, we tried to get some photos...but...did not happen.

Nice journey and a nice stop.

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Mike Angles

Hi Steve

Thanks for sharing the pics. I have lived in Calif all my life (62 yrs) and have never visited Mono Lake. Gotta do it before I turn to ashes. Your pics are giving me hitch-inch to head over to Hwy 395 this fall.

Finally took time to take a look at your Katie entry. Cute dog.

Stay safe...
re, mike

Leah Lepinski

Looks gorgeous!

Bev Pixley

Thank you -I've enjoyed your (unforgettable) trip to Mono lake and beautiful pictures. Do you know how big the lake is?


13 miles by 9.3 miles....about 45000 acres
On Jul 18, 2016 1:50 PM, wrote: