If you stop at the viewpoint, be sure to have a sticker to paste on the guard rail. It seems to be the thing to do. You have to wonder how these things get started.
These are the rules for boondocking around the lake straight from the Forest Service website:
In general, the area from Mono Lake south towards the Crestview area
and east of Highway 395 is open to dispersed camping
Here is the lovely site we claimed.
And the opposite direction.
Mono Lake is famous for the limestone Tufas that formed underwater, then were exposed when the lake level dropped over the years.
It really looks like a scene from another planet.
Some form picturesque islands.
They just encourage you to take way too many pictures.
This one Ron and I agreed was a little bear climbing, but there we disagreed. I said he was climbing a tree and Ron said Momma Bear.
Due to the fact that there is no outlet for the lake and a lot of evaporation in this dry climate, the lake has 3 times the salt content of the Pacific Ocean. Like the Great Salt Lake in Utah, brine shrimp thrive in these waters. But in addition, Mono Lake is the breeding ground for the Alkali Fly which attracts migratory shore birds. This California Gull is loving the feast.
The lake also has Tufas formed from sand, which I didn't know until we visited the visitors center.
Pretty cool, huh?