The Land of Tufas

 


It was the first weekend of 2021, and we decided to getaway for a couple of nights and revisit the Bridgeport area which we had done in February of 2020.  After our first nights stay in Bridgeport we got out to explore the next day, and our first stop was about 14 minutes away, at the Mono Lake Vista Point. At this stop we got to see the view of Mono Lake as well as the Sierra Nevada Mountains and desert. I would definitely recommend stopping here for a Birdseye view, and getting some drone footage and/or photos. 



Getting down to the lake takes about 10 more minutes driving. But if you want to get to the south side of the lake, which I highly recommend, it'll take approximately 25 minutes more. Before heading out to Mono Lake one of the locals had told me that I needed to see the tufas on the south side of the lake, because people had destroyed most of the tufas in other areas of the lake. But before heading out, I had read that the south side was closed. I told my sister, who was with us, that we should probably try anyways. Sure enough, when we got to the South Tufa Area, it was closed. 

Driving through the snow to see these tufas.

But I wasn't about to miss out on an opportunity to see these tufas for the first time ever, after driving about 4 hours from Sacramento. Sooooo...I nervously moved the barricade, drove through, and put the barricade back in place as we were trying to be inconspicuous.  It was about 10 more minutes of driving through snow, and we finally got to the parking lot adjacent to the trail that lead to the lake. Once on the trail, it takes about 5 minutes to get to the lake. 

Wooden board part of trail. 

Right off the pathway. 





As you walk through the trail, the path starts off as asphalt, and then you eventually walk over wooden boards. There are many informational signs along the way, which allows for a self guided tour. Then you eventually run into the land of tufas as well as Mono Lake. These tufa formations and columns are composed of limestone, and form when calcium rich springs shoot out from under water and mix with the carbonate rich waters of the lake. Also, these tufa formations were once underwater, but are now visible because of the low water levels of the lake. These formations were definitely unlike anything I had never seen before and I'm so glad we had the opportunity to witness this fascinating land of tufas. 






  

My sissy poo 





Helpful Tips:
  • The South Tufa area is the best area to see Tufas. Tufas are seen in other areas of the lake but most have been destroyed by people. South Tufa entrance is currently closed. Check for closures. 
  • Respect nature, and the Tufas. Do not destroy the Tufas; they are great to look at!
  • I wouldn't necessarily swim in this lake because of the high PH level. You can look further into this. 
  • Be prepared to drive through snow. 
  • Check the weather and dress accordingly. 
  • If there's snow, wear snow appropriate shoes.
  • Brine Shrimp are abundant in the lake during the summer and so are the birds that eat them.
How to Get There: 
  • Click on the location link below. This will open Google Maps and direct you to your destination.

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