"SOUTH TUFA AREA" Top 5 Page for this destination South Tufa Area Tip by mtncorg
South Tufa Area, Lee Vining: 1 reviews and 5 photos
Mono Lake is a unique ecosystem unto itself. A vast lake occurring in a high desert is completely unexpected. The lake is a vast repository for small brine shrimp, making the lake a kind of primordial broth, rich in nutrition for the millions of birds that either move through here or call Mono Lake home.
A visit to the lake is probably best begun with a visit to the US Forest Service's Mono Lake Visitor's Center, located on the northern edge of Lee Vining along US 395. Here learn about geological processes involved in the formation of the lake, as well as the biological and ecological aspects of the lake and historical problems faced by the lake and its ecosystems.
Now drive south of Lee Vining, about 5 miles under the western shadow of 13000 foot high Mt Dana, to California route 120 and turn east. Another five miles will bring you to the turnoff to South Tufa Area. A quick side trip - en route - is to see the Obsidian Crater and learn more about the region's volcanic nature.
Tufa formations were formed by gases bubbling up from the lake bottom. WithLos Angeles buying up all of the water rights along the Eastern Sierra (see the movie 'Chinatown' ), water that used to flow into Mono Lake was diverted. Slow but sure, the lake began to dry up and tufa formations were uncovered by the drying lake. After a long legal battle, Los Angeles is letting water flow into the lake once more and you can see water lapping along tufa formations that once were dry desert; you can see the lake, slowly refilling as evidenced by dead creosote bushes being reclaimed by waters slowly rising in the lake.
To walk along the tufa formations, to watch the birds, to see the shrimp in the lake and the living wave of brine flies along the lake's edge is to experience something very unique.
Address: Access is of CA 120 east of Lee Vining, Lee Vining
Directions: East on CA route 120 about 5 miles from US route 395
More Reviews (1)
mtncorg's Related Pages
Have you been to Lee Vining?Share Your Travels