Many times I have driven past Mono Lake in the eastern Sierra mountains and looked east going about 60 mph on 395 and said, "some day I have to stop and see the Tufa". Well earlier this week the time had come. We stayed 3 nights at the Mono Vista RV Park in Lee Vining CA, right across from the Mono Lake visitor center.
This is what I planned to do. Take some beautiful pictures of this lake and it's famed Tufa. Full disclosure here. This image was not taken by me and I got it off the internet. I wish I had the opportunity to get this kind of shot. But sadly climate and wild fires were against me.
Here is about the best I could do. There was just too little alpenglow to get any kind of shot.
This was just a little peek of glowing night sky that lasted for five minutes and hardly made it to the Tufa at all. If you look close at the picture of the tufa you can see the tiniest amount of red in the foreground. And that was it. I went all three nights over to get great shots and did not have much luck.
But we did go to Bodie and that produced some great pictures for memories.
I do recommend the Mono Vista RV park if you go to stay in Lee Vining. Nice people. Sites have grass. Some trees. Very clean and neat. Good utilities. Price was about $35 with Good Sam. Click the link above to go to their web site. This park is very close to the road that goes in the back side of Yosemite. I had the opportunity to talk to all sorts of people from all over Europe who were staying in this RV park and going over into Yosemite.
So what else is in Lee Vining. There is the Mono Lake visitor center. This is a large park building with exhibits, maps, rangers, ranger talks, and so on. I highly recommend stoping here ever if you are not overnighting in Lee Vining. It is right off 395 just a block north of town on the east side.
Great views from the visitor center.
The columbine flowers were next to the building and this is one of the most interesting and beautiful flowers I know of. I like these pictures a lot better than the ones I got of the Tufa.
If you do not feel like spending a lot of time at Mono Lake it is easily accessible from Mammoth Lakes. However, in my opinion staying at the Mono Vista RV park is better than any I saw at Mammoth Lakes for larger RVs like ours.