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. The diversity of life, so abundant at Mono Lake, has not always been ensured; in fact, this entire ecosystem came very close to being completely lost.

Three people sitting in a canoe paddling on Mono Lake in the bright sun moving over glassy water towards a grove of tufa towers with the tall Sierra Nevada in the distance.
Join us for guided canoe tours in the summer!

To illustrate the changes that have occurred here, if you were in this spot in 1941, you would be wading through 3 feet of water. This tour will explain the reasons for this precipitous drop in lake level and also cover the natural and political history of Mono Lake. Enjoy!

Continue down the paved trail toward the lake, noticing the different plants along the way.

Top photo by Jeff Sullivan.