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“Photographer's Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mono Lake

Mono Lake
US 395, CA 93541
760 647 6595
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Ranked #229 of 7,351 things to do in California
Attraction details
Oakland, CA
Level Contributor
45 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Photographer's Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Any amateur with a point and shoot can get spectacular pictures here if the conditions are right (still water, low light). The tufa towers, which are a short, flat, and educational loop trail from the parking lot) relected in the water along with the "purple mountains' majesty" of late afternoon as a backdrop are simply stunning. Even if you are not one to take pictures, this unique landscape and ecosystem are well worth a visit.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank LetsgoOakland_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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563 reviews from our community

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Zagreb, Croatia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Surprised. Twice!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

The first time I saw Mono Lake coming down from Tioga Pass I was truly disappointed. When planning my trip, I somehow imagined it to be a mountainous lake (due to the altitude) surrounded by snow covered peaks and lots of pine trees (a bit like Alpine lakes in Europe). I was completely wrong. The lake is in the middle of… well… nothing: huge, fairly level plateau that looks like a desert, especially if you have just left Yosemite behind you.

Luckily, there is an excellent visitor’s centre which offers abundance of information and an even better short film about the whole phenomenon of Mono Basin. The film is free and I strongly recommend it to anyone coming to Mono Lake for the first time. After the film things become much clearer and you are ready to appreciate the beauty of the lake itself and the wonder of tufa formations. To see the best tufas drive straight to South Tufa, park the car and stroll down to the lake shore. The hidden photographer in you will be amazed by the artwork of the natural elements.

Visited September 2012
4 Thank cybona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Lake Tahoe, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“natural wonder”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Nice stop along the way. There's a nice path down to the water, giving you fresh air and a scenic way to stretch your legs.Great educational destination, full of biological and geological information.

Visited February 2013
Thank Visitin83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
156 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Nice for a one time visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Being a photographer and seeing the images others have producted from the tuffa formations, I have always wanted to visit the lake.

It isn't what I thought it could be. There are some formations on the south shore heading east along the lake, but you have to really watch for the signs to get you there.

There is a fee to park before you head out along the lake. Could figure out why a natural lake would have a fee... I was thankful my National Parks pass worked. You just lay that on your dash and enjoy the short walk to the lake.

Best time for taking photos is at sunset for those wanted to capture the warmth of the sun on the lake. Be prepared. There are a lot of birds and flies, but I wasn't bothered by either.

Oh, there are snakes as well, but harmless! Lizards and other things along the trail make the overall experience nice.

Would I recommend this to others? Yes, maybe! Would I come and visit again? More than likely not. The old saying, been there, done that! But on the other hand, I am glad I finally made the side trip to see what others have been talking about.

If you have never been, one trip would most likely be nice.

Visited July 2012
Thank LYNN J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A photographers paradise.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Incredible natural geological location with lots of wild life. I have nothing bad to say about this location.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank Tony M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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