Mono Lake: South Tufa
Google Mono Lake and the first thing you’ll see is the South Tufa. Some would argue that if there was one thing you absolutely had to do here, it’s visiting the tufa grove. Is it a must do? I’m not sure; the Black Point Fissures were pretty cool. But if you’re hard pressed for time, visiting the South Tufa will only take you about an hour or so. The hike to the crazy, alienesque tufa is short (one mile), flat, and family-friendly.
Underwater springs rich with calcium mixing with carbonate-rich lake waters formed these cool calcareous structures. Lake levels fell when the city of Los Angeles diverted water from Mono Lake in 1941 exposing the tufa towers.
Parking is $6 per car, payable by cash or check into a little money deposit stand. Pit toilets available at the trailhead. In the winter, all but two are closed. If you’d like more information on Mono Basin, stop by the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center or the Mono Lake Committee.