Mono Lake | Travel

Tufa Sunrise | Alaina Ann Photography 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.

Mono Lake Tufas | Alaina Ann Photography

Recommended Stops
  • 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.

South Tufa | Alaina Ann Photography

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!