Mono Lake

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Trail Distance: 1.4 miles
Time Estimate: 40 min+
Elevation Gain: 330 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Parking: Free
Route Type: Out-and-back
Restroom: Yes
Description

Vast deserts and steep mountains make up most of the terrain in California. No matter where you go, you'll see some range of peaks or sandy fields, but no place showcases these features better than the Mono Lake Trail. The trail is in a popular hiking area surrounded by the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, and leads to the border of Mono Lake.

You and Fido will find the begining of the trail around the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center. The visitor center has a large parking area, with picnic tables, trash bins, water fountains, and restrooms. Fido is not allowed in the facilities, but can start right away on the trail which starts at the northern section of the parking lot. The trail is completely uncovered, and surrounded by a mixture of grass, desert sand, and lush plants.

The trail is made from crushed stone and curves past the desert, with sights of cactus', desert flowers, and wildflowers in the summer. A chance to see wildlife like deer, foxes, groundhogs, osprey, vultures and wild turkeys are possible here too. The trail continues 1.3 miles before it splits and turns into a boardwalk both ways leading to the wetland shores of Mono Lake, with small information benches with facts about the area and its wildlife.

No matter which way you go, you'll be greeted with gorgeous views of the sandy shores, with rocks, limestone spires, and Tufa towers made from salt. Bird watching is also popular here. When you travel along the left fork, you will see the end of the trail in a small parking area with trees, picnic tables, and trash bins.

After a short walk back, and plenty of stopping to take in the natural splendor of the area, you and Fido will be back at your car in no time. Generally, the trail is a peaceful and easy place to walk to get some pretty views of one of the saltiest places on the earth.

Trail Features
Loose Terrain, Muddy, Rocky, Steep Inclines, Beach, Lake, Desert, Diverse Landscape, Wetland, Mountains, Grassland
Abundant Wildlife, Wildflowers, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
It is advised not to touch the limestone and tufa towers due to their fragile structures. There is no shade along the trail and can get very hot, so bring sunscreen and water before using the trail. Although the trail is open 24 hours, there is no lighting on the trail at night.
Address
1 Visitor Center Dr
Lee Vining, CA 93541
Hours
Mon Open 24 Hours
Tue Open 24 Hours
Wed Open 24 Hours
Thu Open 24 Hours
Fri Open 24 Hours
Sat Open 24 Hours
Sun Open 24 Hours
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Address
1 Visitor Center Dr
Lee Vining, CA 93541
Hours
Mon Open 24 Hours
Tue Open 24 Hours
Wed Open 24 Hours
Thu Open 24 Hours
Fri Open 24 Hours
Sat Open 24 Hours
Sun Open 24 Hours