South Tufa Trail, Mono Lake

On Friday, during our trip to the Eastern Sierras, we enjoyed a hike on the South Tufa Trail at Mono Lake, California.  This is a short, flat 1-2 mile trail, perfect for kids, with a lot to see…. fun limestone rock formations, a salt-water lake, views of the Sierra Nevada mountains to the west, ancient volcanoes on the north and east, and sagebrush everywhere.  Gorgeous…

The ranger gave our son a cup to catch brine shrimp with…  of course, catch and release.  My son caught and examined four shrimp.  He was fascinated…

Love this trail!

Interested in going?  From the California State Parks website… “From Highway 395, about 5 miles south of the hamlet of Lee Vining, turn east on Highway 120 and drive 5 miles to the signed turnoff for the South Tufa Area/Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve. Turn left and proceed a mile on good gravel road to a parking area near the trailhead.”  For more information about the hike and location, visit the website… Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve, South Tufa Trail.


You may also enjoy this post:  Mono Lake…


  1. I visited Mono Lake last June due to some photos I saw on Boy, was I disappointed. The photos were so manipulated that you could hardly tell they were the same formations. Or of the same planet. But in and of themselves, they are fascinating.


    1. The day we were there, the light was amazing. It would have been difficult to take a bad photo that day! Check out my iPhone photo (separate post) of my son in the lake, completely unmodified. I think it came out better than the photos with my Canon. 🙂


      1. Well, except for the shots with your son, my photos look almost exactly like yours. I have to say I was disappointed with the site, though the history is fascinating.


        1. Yes, the photos didn’t come close to capturing the beauty of the day. The light was incredible. Truly magical this day. I’ve been to Mono Lake dozens of times over the years, and the light is always different. My favorite was watching a lightning storm over the lake. Gorgeous. The clouds were so dramatic. But sometimes it’s not very interesting at all. Depends on the day!


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