About Mono Lake

Nine people standing at the shoreline of Mono Lake with binoculars and a spotting scope out over a glassy blue lake with California Gulls on a sandbar and the Sierra Nevada mountains looming tall in the distance with a beautiful blue sky with puffy white clouds.

A unique ecosystem, a home for many

Located at the eastern edge of California, between the arid Great Basin and the snowy Sierra Nevada, Mono Lake is an ancient saline lake that covers over 70 square miles and supports a unique and productive ecosystem. The lake has trillions of brine shrimp and alkali flies, millions of birds, and freshwater tributary streams. Along the lakeshore, scenic limestone formations known as tufa towers rise from the water’s surface.

Humans have called the Mono Basin home for thousands of years. The Kutzadika’a Paiute are this land’s native people and original stewards. In the mid-1800s prospectors and pioneers arrived to make a living from the bedrock and soil. The battle to save Mono Lake from excessive water diversions to Los Angeles began in the last century and continues on.

About Mono Lake

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Get Involved

Watch The Mono Lake Story film

Learn more about the natural and political history of Mono Lake.

See live views of Mono Lake

Live webcam views of Mono Lake, Lee Vining, and Mill Creek.

Join the Mono Lake Committee

Help protect Mono Lake for future generations by becoming a member.

Top photo by Elin Ljung. Second photo by Russ Taylor.