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Accessible Features in State Parks > Accessible Trails > Mono Lake Tufa

Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve

The Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve was established to preserve the spectacular tufa towers, calcium-carbonate spires and knobs formed by interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. It also protects the lake surface itself as well as the wetlands and other sensitive habitat for the 1 – 2 million birds that feed and rest at Mono Lake each year. Through a cooperative effort between CA State Parks, US Forest Service, and the Mono Lake Committee, naturalists lead guided walks at the South Tufa Area Memorial Day through Labor Day. Bird walks are offered at the Mono Lake County Park and State Natural Reserve boardwalk mid-May through Labor Day. Phone (760) 647-6331 for more information.

Picnic Area
An accessible picnic table is available at the Mono Lake Trail trailhead. Accessible parking and restrooms are available nearby.

The South Tufa Interpretive Trail is located at the end of South Tufa Day-Use Road that can be accessed from Highway 120 east of Highway 395. This trail offers a 1.0-mile self-guided nature loop trail to the shore and through the spectacular grove of tufa towers. This is the best place to visit if you have time for only one stop. The first 0.25-mile of this trail is accessible, and hard packed native soil. Beyond the first 0.25-mile, the trail may be useable for some people with limited mobility.

The Boardwalk Interpretive Trail is an ‘out-and-back’ accessible boardwalk interpretive trail that is 0.29 miles each way. This trail is an extension of the Mono Lake County Park Trail that allows access to the north shore tufa area and marsh. The surface is wood. The trail is generally flat at less than 5% slopes. Trailhead, parking, and restrooms are available at the County Park, off Hwy 395 on Cemetery Road.

The Mono Lake Trail is an ‘out-and-back’ accessible trail that is 0.75 miles each way. The trail starts at the Old Marina Parking lot located directly off highway 395 (1 mile north of Lee Vining). The main trail provides 0.33 mile accessible trail (including the Dave Gaines boardwalk) through the wetland to near the lake shore. There is an 0.42 mile spur accessible trail up the nearby hillside that provides lake views and close up view of associated tufa. Trail routes provide close up access and views of the lake and associated tufa. The surface is aggregate & wood. The trail is generally flat with slopes at less than 5% slopes with intermittent sections between 5% to 8%.Accessible picnic table and restroom is provided near the trailhead parking lot.

Accessible Trail Data
Trail Name Running Slope Cross Slope Trail Width Trail Surface
Boardwalk Interpretive Trail 4 FT Average Wood
5% Maximum 2% Maximum 4 FT Minimum
Mono Lake Trail 5 FT Average Aggregate & Wood
8% Maximum 5% Maximum 4 FT Minimum

Get maps and more information on this park.
For more information: access@parks.ca.gov | Phone: (916) 445-8949 | Fax: (916) 449-8966
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