Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mono Lake

Continuing south on US 395, we stopped at the Mono Lake viewpoint for our first look at the famous lake.

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?


  1. yep very cool, on our list to see...

  2. Way cool. Our lake was beautiful but we didn't have those cool thingies.

  3. Thanks for the dispersed camping rules here. Great pictures!!

  4. Love that last shot of the sand as much as the others. I tried to picture the lake high enough to cover all that and couldn't do it!

  5. I agree, it's a tree, not a mama bear.

    Very interesting place. What sticker did you paste on that guard rail.