A few years ago I celebrated my 25th birthday in the Eastern Sierra. I had four whole days dedicated to fun, some driving to and from the Bay Area, but no agenda. I’d been to the East Side before, to tackle Mt. Whitney and some ice climbing, but had never driven the length of 395. I’m always stuck with the dilemma of trying to see something of everything, or sticking to just one spot. For my 25th trip around the sun, I was going to try to see a bit of it all.
Tag: mono lake
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.
A few days prior to my Eastern Sierra birthday trip I poked around the #easternsierra hashtag on Instagram looking for some ideas and inspiration on what to do. I was pretty stumped and so over planning a detailed itinerary at that point. My friend, Sarah, suggested the Black Point Fissures at Mono Lake. A quick click on this link and I was sold.
After soaking for a bit at Travertine Hot Springs, we made our way down to Lee Vining and Mono Lake. We’d originally planned to drive down to Mammoth that night, but after brief stop at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore (visitor center is closed in the winter) we decided to try some dispersed camping in the area to maximize our time at the lake.