Bridgeport & Mono Lake travel blog

Mono Lake Visitor Center

The visitor center

Mono Lake

Small tufas

Black Point sign

Black Point


Tufa exhibit

Mono Lake is located just outside the town of Lee Vining on Highway 395. It is officially known as the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve. The lake is known for it's very high alkalinity and tufa towers. Tufas are calcium-carbonate spires and knobs formed by interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. They are formed underwater and as the lake level dropped they protrude many feet above the current surface.

The lake is home to 1 – 2 million birds that feed and rest at Mono Lake each year.

The lake is one of the oldest lakes in North America (over 1 million years old) and covers about 65 square miles. Over the years, salts and minerals washed into the lake from the mountain streams. Freshwater evaporating from the lake each year has left the salts and minerals behind so that the lake is now about 2 1/2 times as salty as the ocean and very alkaline. The lake has no outlets.

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