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

Tag: South Tufa

A paved road lined by pine trees, a yellow sign warning of horses is on the right.

Wild horse herd reaches South Tufa

Wild horses, previously seen rarely and only in remote parts of the Mono Basin, have experienced rapid population growth in the past five years—so much that they have expanded far beyond their home territory near the Nevada state line and…
People carrying boards into place on a path toward Mono Lake, mountains are on the horizon under a clear blue sky.

Weathered section of South Tufa boardwalk replaced

A portion of the boardwalk at South Tufa received a long-awaited facelift—the cracked and weather-beaten section was replaced with a new, sustainably-sourced redwood walkway. The old wooden boardwalk, first assembled in the early 1990s, was originally part of the David…
Six kids swimming in Mono Lake, with one kid floating on their back with goggles on, while surrounded by tufa rocks and with tufa towers in the distance.

8: The future of Mono Lake

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” John Muir Everyone benefits when there is water in Mono Lake—from Los Angeles residents who rely on Mono Basin streams for some…
Hundreds of small shorbirds bathed in golden light, in flight, on the shore, and in the water at Mono Lake in front of tufa towers.

7: The birds of Mono Lake

The Mono Basin is an oasis for hundreds of species of birds, many of which rely exclusively on alkali flies and brine shrimp for sustenance. The lake is critical habitat for California Gulls, Eared Grebes, and phalaropes. Learn more about…
Hundreds or alkali flies take flight from pupa.

6: A buffet of flies and shrimp

Mono Lake is like an all-you-can-eat buffet of flies and shrimp for the millions of birds that come here. Alkali Flies As you walk along the shore, you may notice swarms of alkali flies buzzing about, but don’t worry, these…
Yellow fog rises from Mono Lake, obscuring the darkened tufa towers.

5: Mono Lake’s unique water

Have you ever gone for a swim in Mono Lake? The lake is 2.5 times saltier than the ocean so you can easily kick back and float in the water. But why is this a salt-water lake? Because Mono does not…
About 60 people holding handmade signs supporting Mono Lake and the Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve cheering and waving and showing a lot of spirit and joy while standing on the small platform at County Park overlooking Mono Lake.

4: The water story

Where you stand now is the management level for Mono Lake—6,392 feet in elevation above sea level. One day, Mono Lake’s water will again reach this level, but ensuring this was a long struggle. In 1976, a group of researchers, including…
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.…