Home Adventures Mono Lake: South Tufa

Mono Lake: South Tufa

by Paulina Dao

Mono Lake South Tufa Hiking Review

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.

Mono Lake South Tufa Hiking Review

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.

Mono Lake South Tufa Hiking Review

The hike to the crazy, alienesque South Tufa is short (one mile), flat, and family-friendly.

Mono Lake South Tufa Hiking Review

Parking is $6 per car, payable by cash or check into a little money deposit stand. Pit toilets available at the South Tufa trailhead. In the winter, all but two are closed.


Sunset and sunrise are popular times to visit. There will be no shortage of photographers capturing the South Tufa.

Mono Lake South Tufa Hiking Review

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.

Mono Lake South Tufa Hiking Review

Explore more of Mono Lake. Visit the Black Point Fissures.

Continue down 395 and check out my Eastern Sierra roadtrip guide.

Last updated on October 30, 2017.

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