See the Tufa!
Overview: The South Tufa trail is an easy hike that will lead visitors of Mono Lake on a short tour past some of the most photographed tufa structures. In addition to providing easy access to the tufa, the hike passes by several informational signs that will educate viewers about the history of Mono Lake and the tufa structures.
History: According to the informational signs along the trail- the tufa structures at Mono Lake are a result of California's overuse of the lakes water supply. As water was piped from the lake to Southern California, the lake level dropped and exposed the Tufa structures. While recent conservation efforts have created a target level for the lakes water several feet higher than its current level- it will still take many years for the water level to rise.
Hike: From the parking lot, pass the admission booth and follow the paved trail as it works its way towards the shoreline. The pavement will soon give way to a wooden walkway that will pass several informational signs as it winds closer to the shore. Along the way you will also pass markers that indicate the lakes historic shoreline level, as well as the target level set by conservation efforts.
When you arrive at the shoreline, the trail will turn east and follow a well worn path past many of the tufa structures. As you follow the main trail you will encounter various use paths that worm their way closer to some of the most popular tufa view points. If you choose to follow these paths- use caution to avoid walking on any tufa as it is extremely fragile.
After reaching the end of the most prominent tufa structures along the beach, the trail will turn south and return to the main parking lot.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.