Green grass with fluffy seed heads lines the shore of a lake, tufa formations are in the water offshore.

Tag: natural history

Shoreline of Mono Lake looking west towards the Sierra Nevada with tufa towers reflecting on the glassy lake and the sky is pink, purple, and blue.

3: Tufa

Examine the tufa in front of you. What does it remind you of? What does it feel like? Tufa—from the Latin tōphus, meaning “porous rock”—forms underwater. Underneath the lake there are fractures which allow calcium-rich spring water to seep through the…
Tufa along the shore of Mono Lake with bright green marsh vegetation in the foreground.

2: Plants of the Mono Basin

Can you find these three common plants of the Mono Basin? Rubber Rabbitbrush: Known for its bright green color and vibrant yellow flowers in late summer, this shrub dominates the area. As you walk down the path, look to your left and notice the…
Tufa towers emerging from Mono Lake at sunset with blue skies and unusual clouds lit up in soft pink with beautiful soft light on the tufa towers reflected in the lake's surface, and you can even see some of the rocky shoreline under water.

1: Welcome to Mono Lake!

Mark Twain once called Mono Lake the “Dead Sea of California,” but that could not be further from the truth. Mono Lake is a fountain of life—important for over 300 bird species, trillions of endemic brine shrimp, and many other creatures.…