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Mono Lake

Explore this saline lake, where you can sail in high winds, see stunning rock formations and watch over 2 million migrating birds that visit each year.

Take a daytrip to Mono Lake to experience the other-worldly geology and stunning wildlife populations that make up a high-saline water body. This lake was formed over 760,000 years ago in a salt-heavy basin, which nourished a thriving ecosystem of brine shrimp, insects and birds. Learn about the indigenous Americans who lived here, the Kutzadika’a people, whose staple food source was the lake’s insect pupae.

Visit Mono Lake Visitor Center to delve into the environmental history of the area. In 1941, lake water was diverted to the growing city of Los Angeles, dramatically dropping lake level. Subsequent restoration efforts have replenished Mono Lake to within 40 feet (12 meters) of its former level. Attend seminars and walks directed by naturalists to hear more about ongoing geological developments and regional wildlife.

See the lake’s stunning vistas on a hiking or boating tour. Experience is required for sailors, as submerged rocks and high winds create challenging conditions. Alternatively, explore Mono Lake on a kayak or canoe.

Stop at the tufa towers, a jagged rock outcrop that rises out of the salty water in intriguing shapes. Enjoy the best views from a designated boardwalk in the South Tufa portion of the state reserve, which features information boards explaining the fascinating geological formations in the area.

In summer, watch the lake come alive with over 2 million migratory birds who come to nest and feed on the plentiful brine shrimp. Take a birdwatching tour to spot over 35 species of shorebird, including American avocets and sandpipers.

In the evening, enjoy a grilled meal at a restaurant overlooking the lake in Lee Vining. Find accommodations here on the lake’s western border.

Mono Lake is located east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. Get here via a 25-minute drive from Bridgeport. Stop at the visitor center to pay the admission fee for access to the lake.


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Lodging Near Mono Lake

See all 305 Hotels near Mono Lake
Yosemite Gateway Motel

Yosemite Gateway Motel

51340 Highway 395, Lee Vining
3.5
of 5, from 174 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Lee Vining, this motel is within a 15-minute walk of Mono Lake Committee Information Center and Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center. Lundy Lake and Mono Lake are also within 12 mi (20 km).

$89
Lake View Lodge

Lake View Lodge

51285 Highway 395, Lee Vining
3.9
of 5, from 100 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in the mountains, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Mono Lake Committee Information Center and Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center. Lundy Lake and Mono Lake are also within 12 mi (20 km).

Boulder Lodge

Boulder Lodge

2282 Hwy 158, June Lake
3.6
of 5, from 8 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Situated on a lake, this motel is within a 15-minute walk of June Lake Marina, Gull Lake Marina, and June Lake Community Building. June Mountain is 1.5 mi (2.5 km) away.

$85
June Lake Villager

June Lake Villager

2640 California 158, June Lake
3.8
of 5, from 267 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in the mountains, this motel is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) from June Mountain and within 20 mi (32 km) of Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center and Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center. Hot Creek Geological Area is 23.9 mi (38.5 km) away.

$159
Gull Lake Lodge

Gull Lake Lodge

132 Bruce Street, June Lake
4.0
of 5, from 86 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Situated in the mountains, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of June Lake Marina and June Mountain. Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center and Yosemite Tioga Pass Entrance are also within 32 mi (52 km).

Heidelberg Inn

Heidelberg Inn

85 Bolder Lake View Dr, June Lake
4.3
of 5, from 47 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in the mountains, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of June Lake Marina and Gull Lake Marina. June Lake Community Building and June Mountain are also within 1 mi (2 km).

June Lake Motel

June Lake Motel

2716 Highway 158, June Lake
4.5
of 5, from 153 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in June Lake, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of June Lake Marina, Gull Lake Marina, and June Lake Community Building. June Mountain is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) away.

Lake Front Cabins

Lake Front Cabins

32 Brenner St, June Lake
4.2
of 5, from 28 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in the mountains, this cabin is within a 10-minute walk of June Lake Marina and Gull Lake Marina. June Mountain is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) away.