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South Tufa Vista Trail



0.7 mile 1.1 kilometer loop


Ascent: 19' 6 m
Descent: -21' -6 m
High: 6,406' 1,952 m
Low: 6,386' 1,946 m


Avg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 2% (1°)


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A short walk into another planet, to the salt lake between the tufa towers.

David Montero

Features Birding · Lake · Views

Family Friendly The signs by the track offer a nice opportunity to explain basic science to kids who can touch or taste the salt water, watch the birds struggling to swim and walk between the alkali flies.


This is a very short trail and time flies by walking around the uncanny landscape of the tufa towers and taking pictures of the calm mirror salt lake. In autumn after the first snow, the snowy sierra peaks in the background offer an amazing view.

Please don't touch the tufa and by no means climb on them, they are very fragile, an Instagram moment is not worth ruining hundreds of years of nature's work, especially as this natural wonder will be ruined for everyone who follows after.

There's an admission fee of $3 for everyone in your party older than 15, and the Yosemite pass doesn't work here. There won't be anyone at the entrance booth to take your money though, you're supposed to deposit it in one of the pink payment envelopes found there and then tear off the proof-of-payment stub and hang it from your car's rear-view mirror.
National park passes (officially known as "interagency passes") and senior passes are accepted - leave the pass on your dashboard before you start the hike to avoid getting ticketed.

Though short, you'll leave this route with a feeling of wonder, so take your time to enjoy the sights and to take plenty of photos.

Flora & Fauna

Alkali flies (thousands), brine shrimp, ducks

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May 21, 2019
Matthias Benaets
Nov 11, 2018
Tilman Giese
Oct 19, 2018
Ken Holt
Jun 19, 2018
Cristi P
Jun 16, 2018
d p
Sep 10, 2017
Alex Chan
Aug 5, 2017
Wei Liu
Jul 15, 2017
Elizabeth Bacon
I highly recommend the canoe tours on the lake! 0.7mi

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 4 votes


in Mono Lake


  5.0 from 4 votes
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Trail Rankings


in Mono Lake


in California


2 Views Last Month
390 Since Nov 27, 2016



Tufa reflected on the lake.
Nov 27, 2016 near Mammoth…, CA
A rocky "skyline" sticking out of the water.
Oct 21, 2019 near Mammoth…, CA
Mirror Lake.
Nov 27, 2016 near Mammoth…, CA
Uncanny tufa towers.
Nov 27, 2016 near Mammoth…, CA
A salt covered rock "finger" on the southern shore of Mono Lake
Oct 21, 2019 near Mammoth…, CA
Snow on the sierra.
Nov 27, 2016 near Mammoth…, CA


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