MONO LAKE, CALIFORNIA
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