South Tufa and Navy Beach will remain closed through the Labor Day holiday weekend in the wake of the Beach Fire, which burned nearly 3,800 acres in mid-August.
The fire is now completely out, but California State Parks staff is still assessing resource damage and preparing signs and barriers to keep visitors on established roads and pathways. They report that some tufa was scorched, but there’s been no serious damage to the tufa. South Tufa and its shoreline were spared, but the trail from South Tufa to Navy Beach was thoroughly burned.
The official closure orders by California State Parks and US Forest Service remain in place and will be enforced by staff. The road to South Tufa is blocked off by cement K-rails, and access by foot and bicycle is also prohibited.
State Parks has indicated that they plan to open the area soon, but the exact date has not yet been determined. We will make sure to post when the road and parking areas reopen.
Until then, please respect the closures and instead visit some of the other spectacular lake vistas in the Mono Basin! We recommend the County Park boardwalk to see the phalaropes, grebes, and avocets; the Lee Vining Creek Trail for expansive views of the basin, and Old Marina for a good view of (uncharred!) tufa.
Top photo by Santiago Escruceria.