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.

Summer interpretive activities begin at Mono Lake this weekend

This post was written by Gabrielle Renteria, 2015 Bookstore Assistant, 2016 Mono Lake Intern, 2016–2018 Project Specialist.

Guests observe alkali flies on a free South Tufa Tour. Photo by Sandra Noll.

Days are longer, evenings are warmer, and the Mono Basin is buzzing with activity. Summer is in full swing and when you visit there are many things to do: South Tufa tours, bird walks, Panum Crater walks, Stars Over Mono programs, and canoe tours!

Join us daily for free South Tufa tours to learn about the political and natural history of Mono Lake. Tours last approximately one hour and your guide will lead you through towering groves of tufa, help you observe Mono Lake’s endemic shrimp, and if you’re lucky you may even catch a glimpse of nesting Osprey. Meet at the South Tufa kiosk, daily at 10:00am & 6:00pm. (Tours are free, however there is a $3 fee to visit South Tufa.)

The Mono Basin is a birder’s paradise. Free bird walks are fun for the whole family and no matter your level of expertise you are sure to learn something new! Bird walks last one-and-a-half to two hours and meet at 8:00am, Fridays & Sundays, at Mono Lake County Park and 8:00am on Saturdays at Lundy Lake Resort.

Birding Intern Jenny leads a bird walk at County Park. Photo by Julissa Rosales.

Did you know that Mono Lake sits just north of the youngest mountain range in North America? Join a Mono Lake Volunteer for a Panum Crater walk and discover the incredible geology of this young volcanic range. Meet your guide at the Panum Crater trailhead, Saturdays & Sundays at 10:00am.

Explore the magical dark sky every Monday night at a Stars Over Mono program. A National Park Service interpretive ranger will point out stars, constellations, and planets all while sharing stories and myths about their origins. Star talks last one-and-a-half hours and meet at the South Tufa kiosk. Start times vary depending on sunset: programs from June 25 to July 30 start at 8:30pm; all August programs start at 8:00pm, and all September programs start at 7:30pm.

Float among the tufa towers on a weekend canoe tour! Photo by Sandra Noll.

Experience Mono Lake like never before on one of our weekly canoe tours. Join our experienced guides for a paddle among tufa towers, get an up-close look at the critters that call Mono Lake home, and enjoy a calm that only comes with time spent on Mono’s salty water. No canoe experience is necessary. Tours start at 8:00am, 9:30am, & 11:00am every Saturday and Sunday and cost $35 per person ($20 for kids under 12). For more information and to reserve your seat click here.

With so much to do you are sure to find an activity the entire family will enjoy. Have questions? Give us a call at (760) 647-6595 or stop by our Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining. We can’t wait to meet you and share this special place together!