Sunrise light on a grove of tufa towers emerging from the water of Mono Lake with soft green and dusty-red wild grasses in the foreground, Canada geese in the shallow water with reflections of the rocky towers, and desert hills in the distance.

Government shutdown update for Mono Lake

With the government shutdown now in its fifth week, the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area, Inyo National Forest, Yosemite National Park, and Bureau of Land Management lands continue to be affected.

Open visitor sites

South Tufa: The South Tufa area at Mono Lake is operated by the US Forest Service and remains open during the shutdown. The bathrooms are open but are only cleaned and stocked sporadically. South Tufa tours continue at 1:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays with Mono Lake Committee staff.

South Tufa is open during the government shutdown. Photo by Elin Ljung.

California State Park sites are all open: Old Marina is open, Mono Lake County Park is open (no services), and Bodie State Historic Park is open daily 9:00am to 4:00pm. However, the access roads to Bodie are currently closed due to snow.

Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore: Open daily 9:00am to 5:00pm. Closed on January 31st for inventory.

Closed visitor sites

Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center: Closed for the winter. No permits are available.

Yosemite National Park: The park remains open from the west side, but Highway 120 (Tioga Pass) is closed for the winter, so Yosemite is not accessible from the Mono Basin. For more information, visit Yosemite’s website.

Camping and recreation

Dispersed recreation: General Inyo National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands in the Mono Basin remain open to self-guided exploration. As always, pack out all litter and pet waste. During the shutdown, lend a hand and pick up any trash you see while you’re out exploring. Leave it better than you found it!

Camping: All Mono Basin campgrounds are currently closed for the winter. The nearest open campground is the Mammoth Mountain RV Park in Mammoth Lakes.

Help the Inyo! At all times, but especially during the closure, all visitors to the Inyo National Forest should “pack it out,” clean up after themselves, and help clean up after others. Plan ahead as bathrooms will be closed or unstocked. This is good stewardship and will make the eventual reopening of our public lands as quick as possible.

We will keep you updated on any change in status regarding the government shutdown at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore (open 9:00am–5:00pm daily) and here on the Mono-logue as well as on Facebook and Twitter.