Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center provides regional information to travelers visiting the Mono Basin Scenic Area in the Eastern Sierra and Yosemite National Park. View exhibits on Mono Lake history, wildlife, geology, and access the interpretive trail. Docent led tours of Mono Lake, South Tufa, or Panum Crater are available. In addition to local information, visitor services include sale of Interagency passes, issuing permits for wilderness trips, campfire permits, rental of bear canisters and sale of fuel wood collection permits. The Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (ESIA) operates the bookstore at the visitor center, with a comprehensive selection of books and maps of the region. Revenue from sales of these items helps support interpretative programs. Managed by the US Forest Service, the visitor center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association. Summer- Open Daily from 8:00 to 5:00 Check out current area updates at www.twitter.com/monoinfo Winter- Closed for the Season Spring & Fall- Open 9-4:30. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Pretty straight forward hike down towards the water's edge to look at the tufa towers. Flies are everywhere, but they stay low and don't bother people. If you are going to make one quick stop at Mono Lake, this is probably it.

It is a nice short walk to see tufa and mono lake. very unique. even it is very short, but if you want to be there for a while and take pics, do not forget bring water.

hiking
2 months ago

This was fun for my children because there was not only obsidian, but there were huge chunks of pumice that they could lift because it is so light.

hiking
8 months ago

Unearthly and a must visit Eastern Sierra spot.

Hiked this trail today with my wife, 6 month old daughter and dog. Very clear path as most of the hike is a dirt road. Steady incline most of the way up and the lake is very serene. There was construction going on near the lake so wasn't as peaceful as it could of been but all in all was a great hike. I agree with the easy rating.

Easy trail to see unique features. Pretty around sunset.

We did just the 0.9mi out and back trail near the crater as the sun was setting. Couldn't really see the crater very well.

easy trail... lots of geology... obsidian and pumice

Interesting little trail quick to do. Try it during golden hour. Flat and friendly for all. Probably even handy cap accessible for an out and back of the first half if you have a good chair.

hiking
11 months ago

It was a nice short walk with great views of Mono Lake and the Tufa. The sand sits in the heat of the sun all day so beware of that if taking a dog. There's not any shade.

walking
11 months ago

This is definitely an informative walk rather than a hike, but cool to see nonetheless.

The quiet side of mono pass. Mt Lewis looks really cool from here. The majority of the hike is on dirt road though.

Area is 5 star with a beautiful pass above the lake. However the messy over built human presence on the south end is a bummer.

Friday, June 02, 2017

The perfect way to view the special nature of mono lake!

hiking
Monday, May 01, 2017

Another reason why Mono is my favorite place on earth.

hiking
Monday, April 24, 2017

You really get to experience the previous depth of Mono prior to the LA water district draining some of the water. I would suggest learning about tufa formation at the visitors center (5 miles up the road) and then seeing the tufas. Walking along these wonderful formations and thinking about how they formed under water makes you appreciate the experience even more! The walk is like a sandy beach, but more sturdy ground. The trail is a complete loop from the parking lot. Fee is $3.00 and I would suggest paying at the visitors center so you can have something to display in your car's dash or you can use a valid national parks pass.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Moderate incline to the top. Nice gravel pathway for great grip! Spectacular view of the crater and I liked how there are options to go around the rim and along the crater plug itself.

hiking
Thursday, November 03, 2016

Strange and beautiful. Stopped and did this loop way, way back. 5 stars just because it's the only place I've ever seen like it. we use to come through quite a bit on motorcycle rides.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

One of the most Unique place I have had the privilege of seeing, Great place to spend a few hours!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fabulous views. A site to see and explore.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

It was really nice didn't know the trail was this long.

hiking
Sunday, May 15, 2016

Interesting natural formation. Approximately 6000 feet above sea level, the down pour from sierras created this lake, and since there is no outlet to this lake, when evaporates creates excess salt. Calcium from spring water interacts with salt creating limestones that forms tufas/towers up to 30 feet in height. So much science

hiking
Saturday, April 23, 2016

Awesome flat stroll down to Mono Lake and some amazing tufa formations. Can be buggy, but the brine flies shouldn't bother you. Go in early morning or late afternoon to catch the right light with some great views across Mono Lake to the eastern Sierras. You'll see birds, lizards, maybe some snakes and maybe a rabbit. Highly recommend this if you make a stop at Mono Lake. Good description here: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/long_valley/long_valley_sub_page_16.html

hiking
Saturday, April 23, 2016

Hands down the best place to see a hill of solid obsidian - beautiful black glass - although it just looks like rock until you break it open - don't remove it (it is sharp and will cut you). Wear good shoes (this is a rocky mound up to 300 ft high from parking lot. Hike up a gravel hill to the right and come to some switchbacks up to the top of the crater, giving you a great view of the eastern Sierras and Mono Lake as well. See cool evidence of the volcanic activity. From Highway 395 and Highway 203 in Mammoth Lakes, head north 20.3 miles on U.S 395 towards Lee Vining and Mono Lake. Take a right on 120-E for 3.1 miles [continuation of Tioga Road if coming from Yosemite and the same road you’d take to the South Tufa trail on Mono Lake], and then take a left at the Panum Crater sign, which takes you about a mile to the trailhead. Nice parking area with a geology hut. Great description here: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/long_valley/field_guides_panum_crater.html - Coordinates: 37°55.537' N, 119°02.923' W (hand held gps); Elevation: 6,830 ft.
Don’t miss this one!

hiking
Sunday, April 17, 2016

Awesome hike both around the rim trail and into the plug. Amazing views in from the high points. Suggest counter clockwise on the rim trail.

birding
Monday, September 07, 2015

Tufas were something I've never seen very cool

hiking
Monday, July 13, 2015

Great place to visit a little volcano with very interesting rocks.

hiking
Monday, July 13, 2015

Great place to visit. Very easy to get to and a great little hike. There's so much here to see. A very enjoyable experience for my whole family.

hiking
Monday, June 29, 2015

Super fun easy hike. Great to take pictures holding big pieces of pumice.

walking
Sunday, June 28, 2015

Nice easy stroll through a unique and beautiful landscape. You can spend half a day birdwatching and photographing this area. We visited in the morning and then returned again the same evening to get some amazing tufa and sunset pictures. A must see if you are near the east side of Yosemite or in the Lee Vining area.

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