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Activities, Events, and Programs Throughout the Mono Basin

South Tufa walks

Photo by Richard KneppConducted three times daily throughout the summer, these walking tours are an excellent introduction to Mono Lake. Walks last about an hour and meet at the South Tufa parking lot at 10:00, 1:00, and 6:00. No charge for the walk, but a $2 fee is required to enter South Tufa.

Canoe tours

Experience Mono Lake from a different perspective! Canoe tours depart every Saturday and Sunday morning at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00. $15 for adults, $6 for children. Reservations required by calling (760) 647-6595.

Creek walks

Join a Mono Lake Committee naturalist for a walk along Lee Vining Creek. Take a close look at this vital Great Basin habitat, and learn about the plants and animals of the area as well as the restoration work done on the creek.


Join State Reserve Rangers Dave and Janet Carle for an evening of stargazing and astronomical lore at Navy Beach.

Special programs

Slideshows, lectures, field seminars, and more occur all summer. Check in for a schedule of upcoming special events.

Lee Vining Creek trail

Connecting the town of Lee Vining with the U.S. Forest Service Visitor Center, the creek trail takes you down close to one of Mono's recovering tributaries. Pick up the self-guided "Creek Trail Brochure" for profiles of the plants and animals you may see, as well as the creek's history of water diversions and restoration work.

Panum Crater

Come face to face with recent volcanic activity! Formed only 640 years ago, Panum Crater offers lots of interesting terrain to explore on your own. Guided tours, led by the Forest Service, are also available.

County Park

A great spot for picnicking, birdwatching, and visiting the lake. A boardwalk to the lake departs from the bottom of a large grassy area. Restrooms available.

South Tufa

The best spot to visit Mono Lake! A self-guided nature trail takes you among the tufa towers and along the lakeshore. Take along the Committee's latest publication, South Tufa: A Self-Guided Nature Walk, to enhance your trip.


The Mono Basin is famous for birds. The diversity of local habitats creates a wide range of birding opportunities. Mono Lake hosts over 95 species of water birds alone, is a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve, and is sure to provide you with a great day of birdwatching.


Try your luck along Lee Vining, Rush, or Mill creeks, or at Ellery, Saddlebag, or Lundy lakes. Lee Vining stores provide bait, tackle, and information on where the fish are biting!


The varied and vast scenic beauty of the Mono Basin offers endless opportunities for photographers of all skill levels. Visit glacier-clad mountains, aspen-lined streams, ghost towns, and tufa groves.

ExploringPhoto by Don Jackson

The Mono Basin is yours to explore. Walk the lakeshore or hike through the sagebrush flats. All kinds of discoveries await your curiosity.

Bodie ghost town

Bodie, located about 30 miles north of Lee Vining, offers a glimpse into California's past. The gold mining town is preserved in a state of "arrested decay" and was once one of the largest towns in the state. Today, you can roam the streets, looking through windows into preserved homes and businesses. Rangers lead tours and offer special programs, and a museum showcases a collection of artifacts. The park is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the summer (museum closes earlier); $2 admission per person.

June Lake loop

The Highway 158 loop winds past the town of June Lake and through a glacier-carved canyon with views of towering peaks and quiet lakes. Popular for fishing and camping, the loop makes for a nice afternoon drive as well.


Ever popular, Yosemite is one of the crown jewels of the National Park system. A visit to the valley offers the chance to see towering waterfalls, sheer cliffs, and many famous landmarks. But be sure to visit the rest of the park as well; easily accessible from Mono Lake in the summertime is Tuolumne Meadows, which offers an excellent sampling of High Sierra wildflowers and hiking. A seven-day pass is $20 per car.

Devil's Postpile

Located beyond the town of Mammoth Lakes, Devil's Postpile is an unusual geologic formation of columnar basalt. The surrounding area offers spectacular scenery, and the hike to nearby 101-foot Rainbow Falls is popular.

High Sierra hiking

Find a trail and head off in search of wildflowers, lakes, and solitude. Numerous trails are available for day and overnight hiking in the Sierra. Stop by the Mono Lake Committee Information Center for maps and advice.

Return to Spring-Summer 1998 Newsletter

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Last Updated January 07, 2007