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Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center

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Address: Highway 395, North of Lee Vining, Lee Vining, CA
Phone Number: (760) 647-3044
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 156 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 95
    Excellent
  • 49
    Very good
  • 12
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Unexpected but Amazing Visit

Mono Lake near Lee Vining is the east gateway to the Yosemite National Park. We were on our way to Death Valley National Park and unexpected discovered this amazing lake. We... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed December 24, 2015
jameshuang
,
Taipei, Taiwan
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156 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Mesa, Arizona
Level Contributor
137 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

It would be far better if this large and costly information center had regular hours. The state spent a great deal on the edifice but twice when we tried to visit, the place was closed during regular business hours.

Helpful?
Thank Greg S
Taipei, Taiwan
Level Contributor
226 reviews
210 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 276 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2015

Mono Lake near Lee Vining is the east gateway to the Yosemite National Park. We were on our way to Death Valley National Park and unexpected discovered this amazing lake. We stopped at the modern and unique Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center and learned the background of the Mono Lake. We went outside the Visitor Center to explore the... More 

Helpful?
Thank jameshuang
Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
60 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2015

Our car was on the fritz but we were able to walk here from the Mono Vista RV Park. They have a movie and displays explaining Mono Lake. I really would have liked to explore the lake after learning about it. Maybe next time. We were also able to get the information we needed for our visit to Yosemite National... More 

Helpful?
Thank gardener19464
Lopez Island
Level Contributor
34 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2015

Stunning views, sad history. Los Angeles' need for water decimated this salty lake so important to 5 species of birds on their big flys south for the winter. I think the movie Chinatown w/ Jack Nicholson touched on this. Or more than touched on this. After decades of dispute it was agreed that the lake would be allowed to rise... More 

Helpful?
Thank Andrewes
Moran, Wyoming
Level Contributor
90 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2015

This is an interagency visitor center (U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, California State Park) and well worth your time. Learn information about local features, Yosemite, Devils Postpile NM, and where to stay and eat. The bookstore carries all you need to plan your visit and route future trips.

Helpful?
1 Thank Patrick H
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2015

Passing through here so we stopped for a look and to take some pictures. The visitor center has a gift shop and restrooms but the views out the back of Mono Lake are awesome if you have the right weather the pictures are fab.

Helpful?
1 Thank Hebe_7
Napa, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2015

great place to watch sunrise over mono lake ... though the hike up the lee vining creek is not so easy to find and follow

Helpful?
Thank Australian_in_napa
Delray Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
535 reviews
308 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 358 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2015

I most enjoyed the visitor center. It was modern and full of great information on Mono Lake and the surrounding area. There are great views over the lake and a nice gift shop. My complaint lies in the staff member that I was asking about getting permits to Yosemite NP as well as park entrance fees. I felt like I... More 

Helpful?
Thank backpacker31
California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2015

Great photo ops depending on light. Been there a couple of times, once had some crazy winds coming off the Sierras that was sandblasting the paint of my car. Not to be missed for nature/geology buffs

Helpful?
Thank CptTim
California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2015

The center overlooks Mono Lake and features all the types of displays you would expect from a modern visitors center. An added plus is the small movie theater (with a real screen and theater seats, lighting etc.) which plays different shows on a regular schedule.

Helpful?
1 Thank David R

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center and other visitors
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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?