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Mono lake

New Zealand
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Mono lake

Hi there, I hope I am posting in the right forum. I have started some planning this afternoon for our trip to Yosemite in July and came across lake mono in the lonely planet guide. Very excited that it isn't too far from Yosemite and we can visit as we plan to hire a car. My question is where to stay? I can't find listings so am I missing it or are we best to stay in Yosemite. We will be making an overnight journey from San Fransisco.

Chula Vista...
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1. Re: Mono lake

Hi,

I just did a quick "search nearby" for hotels and came up with this list:

http://goo.gl/maps/Frf6b

You can search TA for reviews and see which appeals.

I guess I'm curious about your overall trip to Yosemite. Are you expecting to drive the 4 hours from SF into Yosemite, see the park, and then drive to Mono Lake and spend the night there? Or will you drive from SF and spend a few nights in Yosemite, and then on leaving Yosemite, go to Mono Lake?

If it's the former, that's far too much in one day and you won't be doing Yosemite justice. I'd spend at least 2 nights in or near Yosemite Valley, and then you can take the drive over Tioga Pass to Mono Lake. Even though it's only 75 miles or so from Yosemite Valley to Mono Lake, you'll likely spend the entire day driving it as you get into Yosemite's gorgeous high country, stopping more than you'll think to take in the views or go for a hike.

Zed

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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2. Re: Mono lake

Mono Lake is one of California's unique natural wonders, definitely worth seeing. It is about 75 miles/125 km from Yosemite Valley. You get there by taking Tioga Pass, which goes through Tuolumne Meadows and the "high country" of Yosemite National Park.

The closest town is Lee Vining, which is right next to Mono Lake. It has limited lodgings. The next nearest town with a good choice of lodgings is Mammoth Lakes, about 40 km south of Lee Vining.

If you are going from San Francisco to Yosemite and then continuing east (e.g. to Death Valley and Las Vegas), you could see Mono Lake after leaving Yosemite. You wouldn't need to stay over there unless you wanted to devote more time to it (although IMO it is unique and intriguing enough for a day or more if someone has enough time). If this is just a side trip from Yosemite and you are returning to San Francisco, Mono Lake would be a good day trip and you could also include the ghost town of Bodie. But you should be planning on more than one day in Yosemite it you want to do this, because there is so much to see in the pak.

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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3. Re: Mono lake

I see that Zed and I had some similar thoughts.

San Diego...
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4. Re: Mono lake

Besides Lee Vining and Mammoth Lakes, the little resort town of June Lake also has some lodging. It is a ski resort in the winter. The Silver Lake Resort, on the June Lake Loop, is in a beautiful location although it is old and "rustic" by some standards. They do have good food in the tiny cafe there though.

Lee Vining is barely a 5-minute drive from the edge of Mono Lake; June Lake is about a 20-minute drive from Mono Lake; while Mammoth Lakes is about a 35-minute drive from Mono Lake. Another minor oddity attraction in Lee Vining is the Upside-Down House. For a general travelogue to the eastern Sierra region see this page: travelswithbillandnancy.com/eastern_sierras.…

Santa Cruz...
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for Santa Cruz
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5. Re: Mono lake

Mono Lake is an interesting story about the water grab the Los Angeles Power and Water Dept. did on it and also on the Owens Valley. Unfortunately they managed to dry up the lake in the Owens Valley, but the Mono Lake Committee fought them off in court and the lake is coming back . http://www.monolake.org/about/

Fortaleza, CE
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6. Re: Mono lake

I quite enjoy Mono Lake. Best viewpoints are probably along Highway 120, south of the lake (120 is the Tioga Pass road, but it "stops" at Hwy. 395 and continues eastward a few miles south of Lee Vining. You can walk up the Mono Craters if you have the time and energy. The Mono Lake Committee's visitors center in Lee Vining is an informative and enjoyable stop.

If you're going to make it an overnight stop, try to see Bodie State Park (ghost town): http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=509 I usually spend more time there than at Mono Lake

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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7. Re: Mono lake

quiksilvergirl ~ The Top Questions on the right side of the page has links for lodging (with a map), trip reports, and more. We'd be happy to help you plan your visit to Yosemite NP.

Is it going to be something like this? SF to Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Valley out Tioga Pass (Mono Lake) and to Lone Pine, Lone Pine through Death Valley to Las Vegas? That's a popular route. Here is some info: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182361

Or is it going to be SF - Yosemite - Monterey?

Atlanta area
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8. Re: Mono lake

Best time to visit Mono Lake is sunrise and sunset as the light will have a dramatic impact on the tufa formations, may want to factor that into your plans. However, if a midday visit is what works with your schedule that still is worth the visit.

LA
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9. Re: Mono lake

Mono Lake makes no sense for an overnight trip from San Francisco.

I would guess it will take close to 7 hours to drive straight from San Francisco to Mono Lake, without stopping to see any of Yosemite. Then you are going to turn around and drive back the next day?

You don't have time for this on such a short trip.

New Zealand
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342 posts
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10. Re: Mono lake

Thanks everyone for your replies and input. Seems we may have to re think and either miss the lake or stay an extra night. A few years ago my mother and I visited Yosemite in a day trip from San Fransisco, yes it was a long day. I also read on a google type distance calculator that Mono lake is only about 25miles from Yosemite which is why I thought it could be an option.

In July when we do this trip we do need to return to San Fransisco to catch an onward flight to Miami.

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