by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Mono Lake Tufa

State Natural Reserve - California

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve is located near Yosemite National Park within Mono County, in eastern California. It was established in 1981 by the California State Legislature to preserve the natural limestone "tufa tower" formations at Mono Lake.

maps

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of the Mono Lake area in Inyo National Forest (NF) in California. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Inyo MVUM - Mono Lake 2018

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of the Mono Lake area in Inyo National Forest (NF) in California. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Boundary Map of the Mother Lode BLM Field Office in California. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Mother Lode - Boundary Map

Boundary Map of the Mother Lode BLM Field Office in California. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=514 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mono_Lake_Tufa_State_Natural_Reserve Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve is located near Yosemite National Park within Mono County, in eastern California. It was established in 1981 by the California State Legislature to preserve the natural limestone "tufa tower" formations at Mono Lake.
Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. A “ country of wonderful contrasts, hot deserts bordered by snowladen mountains, cinders and ashes scattered on glacier-polished pavement, frost and fire working together in the making of beauty.” California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (760) 647-6331. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact interp@parks.ca.gov. — John Muir CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve 1 Visitor Center Drive Lee Vining, CA 93541 (760) 647-6331 e-mail: mono.lake@parks.ca.gov Front cover photo by Dick Erb © 1997 California State Parks (Rev. 2015) Photo by Jeff Sullivan Mono Lake is a majestic body of water covering about 60 square miles: 13 miles east-west by 8 miles north-south. Estimated to be more than a million years old, Mono (mo-no) is one of the oldest lakes in North America. Throughout its long existence, Eastern Sierra streams have fed Mono Lake with fresh water laden with salts and minerals carried down from the mountains. With no outlet, water can only leave the basin through evaporation, and the salts and minerals are left behind. As a result, Mono Lake is two and a half times as salty and eighty times as alkaline as ocean water. You will notice a soapy or slippery feel to Mono Lake’s water. The alkaline water is very cleansing. Mark Twain wrote of Mono, “Its sluggish waters are so strong with alkali that if you only dip the most hopelessly soiled garment into them once or twice, and wring it out, it will be found as clean as if it had been through the ablest of washerwomen’s hands.” Enjoying the Mono Basin The Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center is a great place to start your visit. The center is located ¼ mile north of Lee Vining, just east of Highway 395; it includes a variety of exhibits, films, and information about the natural and human history of the Mono Basin. If you have time for only one stop, be sure to visit the South Tufa Area. This easily reached site offers spectacular views of the tufa towers and a one-mile, self-guided nature trail. South Tufa is a federal fee area, and national interagency passes are accepted. At nearby Panum Crater, the youngest volcano in the Mono Crater chain, a trail leads to the dome and rim of the volcano. On the north shore, just below Mono Lake County Park, the State Natural Reserve boardwalk provides access across Reserve wetlands to the lakeshore, an excellent spot for bird watching. For visitors with limited time, the Old Marina is an easy stop along Highway 395 just one mile north of Lee Vining. It offers impressive views of wetlands and a small offshore tufa area. A 1.2-mile trail links this site with the Scenic Area Visitor Center. Interpretive Programs — Naturalists lead walks May through October at South Tufa and other locations throughout the Basin. Ask at the visitor center for a current schedule of these programs. Camping — There are no campgrounds in the Scenic Area or in the State Natural Reserve. However, several campgrounds are nearby (see symbols on map). Most charge a fee and feature designated sites and a maximum length of stay. Dispersed camping is allowed in limited locations of the Scenic Area above the elevation 6,417 feet (see map). Campfire permits are required for any open fires and use of barbecues or gas stoves. Permits can be obtained at the Scenic Area Visitor Center. Photo by Mono Lake Committee Mono, An Ancient Sea Children enjoying the lake Swimming in Mono Lake is a memorable experience. The lake’s salty water is denser than ocean water and provides a delightfully buoyant swim. Keep the water out of your eyes or any cuts, as it will sting. Carry fresh water to rinse off your body. Boating provides a wonderful perspective on Mono Lake, but sudden winds can make it dangerous to venture far from shore. Canoes and kayaks most often launch at Navy Beach, where vehicles can unload boats close to the water. See the map page for boating restrictions. Conservation Success In 1941, the City of Los Angeles began diverting streams that feed Mono Lake. The diversion of those streams caused Mono Lake to drop more than 40 feet, exposing about 17,000 acres of “recessional” lands. Recessional lands are the exposed lakebed lands below the elevation of 6,417 feet above sea level, where the lake surface was in 1941 before diversions began. Concerns were raised about the lake’s ecosystem, the effects of wind-blown alk

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