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MONO LAKE, CAL­I­FOR­NIA

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MONO LAKE, CA

Visit an oth­er­worldly land­scape in the foothills of the East­ern Sierra.

Or at least feel like you are when you ven­ture out to this cor­ner of the East­ern Sierra, where a mas­sive soda lake looks like a scene from an alien planet. Mono Lake has ab­surdly high pH lev­els and salt con­cen­tra­tion—and no out­let—which have given rise to the knobby, cas­tle-like for­ma­tions and tow­ers that dot the wa­ter. Pay a visit this month, when highs in the 50s keep ca­sual vis­i­tors away and the as­pens and cot­ton­woods in the Sierra’s foothills turn vi­brant yel­low. Hop on the 1-mile South Tufa Trail to get the best van­tage of the lime­stone Ship­wreck for­ma­tion (pic­tured) in Mono Lake’s shal­low wa­ters. Like what you see? Set up your tent for a view that never ends: Dis­persed camp­ing is al­lowed any­where above the 1941 shore­line (where the brush be­gins). PER­MIT Re­quired for overnight­ing (free); ob­tain at the Mono Basin Scenic Area Vis­i­tor Cen­ter. CON­TACT www.fs.usda.gov/inyo

SU­SANNA PATRAS / TANDEMSTOCK.COM

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