Mono Lake is most notably known for tufa formations and spectacular light, color and reflections during sunrise and sunset. During my California road trip, I arrived before sunrise on two mornings. Each morning the light and tufa formations were amazing! The color and mesmerizing reflections were, unfortunately, a no-go on both days.
- South Tufa – this area has the greatest concentration of tufa formations, just off Hwy 120 East in Lee Vining. There is a self guided tour, allowing you to walk through the tufa formations. A must stop, in my opinion!
- Navy Beach – located just east of South Tufa, this beach allows for a different viewing point of the highly concentrated tufa area.
- Panum Crater – especially exciting for geology enthusiasts, this area of young volcanoes is accessible by a dirt road, just off Hwy 120 East.
- Mono Lake County Park – an easy trail and boardwalk will take you to the lake, through the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve. This area is quite popular for bird watching.
There were several groups launching from Navy Beach in kayaks while I was visiting the area. If you are looking for opportunities to explore Mono Lake while on the water, click here.
I am quite excited to return to Mono Lake one day in the future to experience one of the amazing sunrises I have heard so much about!