Mono Lake-South Tufa Trail, CA

Guide 8 Triplogs Mine 0 0 Topics
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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
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29  2021-06-15
Mono Tufa - Mono Lake
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
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Author keepmoving
author avatar Guides 34
Routes 249
Photos 2,197
Trips 592 map ( 4,584 miles )
Age 35 Male Gender
Location Portland, OR
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Preferred May, Oct, Sep, Jun
Seasons   ALL
Sun  4:54am - 7:11pm
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Nearby Area Water
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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.

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2013-02-04 keepmoving
    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

    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
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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