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Best trails in Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve

228 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, California? AllTrails has 7 great hiking trails, views trails, lake trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 6 easy trails in Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve ranging from 0.7 to 3.9 miles and from 6,384 to 6,758 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve was established to preserve the spectacular "tufa towers," calcium-carbonate spires and knobs formed by interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. It also protects the lake surface itself as well as the wetlands and other sensitive habitat for the 1 - 2 million birds that feed and rest at Mono Lake each year. Mono Lake is a majestic body of water covering about 65 square miles. It is an ancient lake, over 1 million years old -- one of the oldest lakes in North America. It has no outlet. Throughout its long existence, salts and minerals have washed into the lake from Eastern Sierra 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. Hiking, photography, bird watching, swimming, boating, and cross-country skiing are just a few of the many activities you can enjoy at the lake. Winter is a particularly beautiful time at Mono Lake. The crowds are gone, a quiet stillness prevails, and snow crystals sparkle on the tufa towers.

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Map of trails in Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve
Park information
Park hours
Monday
All day
Tuesday
All day
Wednesday
All day
Thursday
All day
Friday
All day
Saturday
All day
Sunday
All day
Contact
760-647-6331
Helpful links
Top trails (7)
#1 - South Tufa Loop Trail
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(149)
Length: 0.8 mi • Est. 20 m
Eastern California's dramatic landscapes don't end at the Sierra Nevada mountain range as anyone who's visited Mono Lake will attest. Whether approaching on a road trip along US395 or descending the Show more
#2 - Mono Lake Viewpoint
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(30)
Length: 2.7 mi • Est. 1 h 19 m
Mono Lake Viewpoint is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lee Vining, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and Show more
#3 - Mono Lake Boardwalk
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(23)
Length: 0.7 mi • Est. 17 m
A short and very easy walk along a boardwalk with views of Mono Lake. At the end of the boardwalk, if you are willing to get a little wet and muddy, you can walk to the water's edge. The trail also coShow more
#4 - Mono Lake Park Nature Trail
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(11)
Length: 0.5 mi • Est. 14 m
Short interpretive trail from the park to the north shore of Mono Lake. Beautiful views with plenty of wildlife make this a relaxing easily accessed area for all ages. Features a well kept shady park Show more
#5 - Lee Vining Creek Trail
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(10)
Length: 2.3 mi • Est. 1 h 8 m
Lee Vining Creek Trail is a 2.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lee Vining, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of acShow more
#6 - Mono Lake Paddle
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(2)
Length: 3.9 mi
Launch Site: Navy Beach.  Carry launch, restrooms, day use fee Conditions:  Pay attention to the weather.  Strong winds can develop quickly and make for extremely tough paddling conditions.  High aShow more
#7 - Navy Beach and Mono Lake Tufa
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(1)
Length: 2.3 mi • Est. 56 m
Navy Beach and Mono Lake Tufa is a 2.3 mile out and back trail located near Lee Vining, California that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking anShow more