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“One of the most beautiful places on earth!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mono Lake

Mono Lake
US 395, CA 93541
760 647 6595
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Ranked #314 of 4,400 Attractions in California
Type: Bodies of Water, Nature & Parks
Activities: Viewing wildlife, Walking, Birdwatching
Attraction details
Santa Rosa, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“One of the most beautiful places on earth!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

I have travelled a lot in Europe, Asia and North America and Mono Lake greatly impressed me. Its beauty and the peaceful sensation you can feel there is very unique. This place deserves to be protected and my advice would be to have trained volunteers on site in order to ensure this, as its ecosystem is fragile. Another comment is the posted signs should not encourage people to "taste the water", as birds and other wildlife deposit their excrements in the lake and bacteria/parasites could be transmitted this way. Geological information is generally missing/poor and should be provided too, as it is very interesting to know more about this aspect. The only open toilet was very dirty. A paradise-like place like this has to be kept at its best. Do not miss to visit it if you are in the area!!!

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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411 reviews from our community

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Schoten, Belgium
Top Contributor
201 reviews 201 reviews
73 attraction reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“Wow!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We drove around the lake on our way from Heavenly to Mammoth Lakes and it is just incredible. Read up about it and you will be impressed by its majesty and history.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
124 helpful votes 124 helpful votes
“Weird but wonderful scenery”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We parked in the Visitor Centre which was on the 395 just north of Lee Vining. There is an easy 2 km long trail down to the lake and the amazing tufa formations. There was no fee to pay, however if you drive a little further north on the 395 and park in the car park nearer to the lake there's a $3 charge.
We spent 3 hours just wandering about. The scenery is really unusual and I can highly recommend this place to visit.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, CA
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zagreb, Croatia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
59 helpful votes 59 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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