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The Mono-logue » Blog Archive » Free summer activities at Mono Lake

Free summer activities at Mono Lake

June 28th, 2017 by Charlotte, Mono Lake Intern
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With the end of June approaching, it is now officially summer in the Mono Basin! The Mono Lake Committee, in partnership with local agencies and organizations, has lined up a great selection of programs and tours at Mono Lake. No matter your interest or background, there’s sure to be a program perfect for you! Below is a brief list of these programs, which will be available from June 28 to September 1, 2017.

Join a State Park, Forest Service, or Mono Lake Committee guide for a South Tufa Walk every day at 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 6:00pm. Photo by Sandra Noll.

South Tufa Walks: 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 6:00pm every day
Unearth the mysteries of Mono Lake’s water, geology, and wildlife. You’ll even have the chance to create tufa and eat alkali fly pupae! Meet at the South Tufa Kiosk for this free 1 to 1.5-hour tour and don’t forget sunscreen, water, and a hat. To get to South Tufa from Lee Vining, drive South on Highway 395 for about 5 miles and then east on Highway 120 for 5 miles. Look for signs for “South Tufa.”

Bird Walks: 8:00am every Friday and Sunday
Join a naturalist-birder for a free 1.5-hour informative stroll through Mono Lake County Park. Discover the large variety of Mono Basin birds and the habitats they live in. Meet at Mono County Park and bring water, sunscreen, and a hat. To get to Mono Lake County Park from Lee Vining, drive north on Highway 395 for about 5 miles and watch for signs for County Park on the right.

Panum Crater Walks: 10:00am every Saturday and Sunday
Explore one of the youngest volcanoes of the Mono Craters and discover the geologic history of the Mono Basin on this free 1.5-hour walk! Meet at the Panum Crater parking lot and bring water, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, and a hat. To get to Panum Crater from Lee Vining, drive south on Highway 395 for about 5 miles and the drive east on Highway 120 for 3 miles. Look for “Panum Crater” tour signs.

Stars Over Mono Lake: on Mondays—8:30pm July 3–July 31 and 8:00pm August 7–September 4
Explore the skies and stars of the Mono Basin during this free 1.5-hour program. Gaze up at the constellations and hear stories that will connect you with the heavens. Meet at South Tufa Kiosk and make sure to bring some warm clothes and something comfortable to sit on. To get to South Tufa from Lee Vining, drive South on Highway 395 for about 5 miles and then east on Highway 120 for 5 miles. Look for signs for “South Tufa.”

Lundy Canyon Walks: 10:00am every Friday
Explore the cultural and natural history of the beautiful Lundy Canyon on this free 1.5- to 2-hour walk. Learn about the early pioneers and the once booming mining industry that drew many to the Mono Basin. Meet at the historical marker at the Lundy Resort in Lundy Canyon and don’t forget to bring water, sunscreen, and a hat! To get to the Lundy Resort from Lee Vining, drive north on Highway 395 for 7 miles and then turn left onto Lundy Lake Road.

State Park Ranger Duncan could be your guide for a South Tufa Walk. Photo by Erv Nichols.

The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore is open daily from 8:00am to 9:00pm and shows “The Mono Lake Story” film daily. Also, the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center is open daily from 8:00am to 5:00pm and shows the films “Of Ice & Fire: A Portrait of the Mono Basin,” “Spirit of Yosemite,” and “Mine to Mint” films daily.  Both of these visitor centers are located in beautiful Lee Vining, California! For more information, please call:

South Tufa Walks are offered three times daily; State Park Ranger Dave might be your guide! Photo by Sandra Noll.