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Mono Lake-South Tufa Trail, CA

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Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Sierra Nevada
2 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 6,421 feet
Elevation Gain -40 feet
Accumulated Gain 80 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 30 minutes
Kokopelli Seeds 1.4
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
5  2017-09-08 trekkin_gecko
5  2017-09-08 Tortoise_Hiker
14  2017-06-30 Lucyan
13  2013-12-29 slegal
5  2013-01-29 keepmoving
2  2011-07-18 keepmoving
3  2010-05-31 switchflare
6  2009-07-26 slegal
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Oct, Sep, Jun → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:43am - 4:41pm
0 Linked
Nearby Area Water
Mono Tufa - Mono Lake
0.8 mi away
1.5 mi
Panum Crater
Panum Crater
1.5 mi away
1.5 mi
200 ft
Parker Lake Trail
Parker Lake Trail
8.4 mi away
4.0 mi
850 ft
Gibbs Lake
8.9 mi away
6.6 mi
2,000 ft
Koip Peak Pass Traverse Trail
9.2 mi away
23.7 mi
3,743 ft
Lundy Canyon
10.3 mi away
10.8 mi
1,940 ft
Mono Pass and Parker Pass
11.0 mi away
10.2 mi
910 ft
Lee Vining Waterfalls
11.2 mi away
3.0 mi
Reverse Peak Trail
Reverse Peak Trail
11.9 mi away
2.4 mi
900 ft
June Lake Waterfalls
12.2 mi away
13.0 mi
[ View More! ]
Named place Nearby
See the Tufa!
by keepmoving

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.

    Permit $$
    CA State Parks - Fee: typically $2-$15 per vehicle, view more information

    Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve State Park

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    South Tufa trail is located on the south side of Mono Lake, just east of highway 395. From the intersection of 395 & 120, follow 120 east for 5 miles to the marked turnoff. The parking lot is accessed by a short drive along an easy gravel road that is drivable for all vehicles. The gravel road appears to be maintained year round and plowed during the snowy season.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Feb 04 2013 9:11 pm
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