Protecting Mono Lake’s Outstanding Natural Resources

Please join us in our effort to help protect one of the world’s most unique lakes

Located in the high desert of the Eastern Sierra is ancient Mono Lake, a majestic body of water covering over 60 square miles. Throughout its long existence, Eastern Sierra streams have fed Mono Lake with fresh water laden with salts and minerals carried down from the mountains. With no outlet, water can only leave the basin through evaporation, and the salts and minerals are left behind. As a result, Mono Lake is over twice as salty and eighty times as alkaline as ocean water.
Mono Lake’s spectacular limestone tufa towers, lush green wetlands, immense population of migratory birds, and the dazzling interplay of light and clouds creates one of the most stunningly beautiful landscapes in the world.
On a calm day the lake mirrors the nearby Sierra Nevada, Mono Craters, and islands in the lake creating a visual feast for over a quarter of a million visitors each year.
Mono Lake has been called a dead sea but it is actually one of the most life-productive lakes in the world. Mono’s shrimp and alkali flies provide an abundance of food for up to two million birds each year from spring through fall. The most notable species include 3 migrants—Wilson’s and Red-necked phalaropes and Eared grebes as well as nesting California gulls.
The beauty, uniqueness, and importance of Mono Lake inspired the State of California to preserve it by creating the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve in 1982, a unit of California State Parks. The Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area, part of the Inyo National Forest, was established in 1984 to protect the natural, cultural, and scenic resources of the Mono Basin. It surrounds the State Natural Reserve.


What people say about Mono Lake:

Below are some of the comments quoted from the visitor registers at the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve:

  • Beautiful  
  • Fascinating  
  • No words can describe  
  • We keep coming back  
  • After all those years, still awesome  
  • Extremely peaceful  
  • Like another planet  
  • We love this place, we come here often  
  • Tranquil and serene  
  • Great place to meditate, soul-soothing  
  • This place just makes me feel good