Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area and Visitors Center

1 Visitor Center Drive, Highway 395
Lee Vining, CA 93541

Toll free phone: 760-647-3044

Local phone: 760-647-3044


Sunday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Monday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Tuesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Wednesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Thursday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Saturday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Dates Closed: Winter

Hours of Operation: Visitor Center: 8:30 am–4:30 pm Thursday to Sunday; scenic area is accessible seven days a week

This saltwater lake is best known for its tufa towers which were formed with the interaction of the salt and the freshwater springs bubbling up from the bottom of the lake. The center has interactive displays that teach about many aspects of the Mono Basin’s geology, ecology, and human history. The award-winning film Of Ice and Fire: A Portrait of the Mono Basin gives a 20-minute introduction to Mono Lake and is shown regularly. Two galleries are showcased, including the At Mono Lake photo exhibit and a changing art exhibit. Rangers are present all day to answer your questions, and there is also a bookstore with a selection of books about the natural and cultural history of the region.

Traveler Reviews

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Overall Rating: 4.5

based on 824 reviews

Beautiful Lake & Basin
While winter is not the prime season to visit Mono, we found it very enjoyable. Not many people around - we went to the South Tufa Parking area / trail. Dog friendly. It was a fantastic little...
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Beautiful area
These are really unusual rock formations in a beautiful lake. We did not go around to the southern end, but should have.
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Beautiful lake
Its a beautiful lake with these unusual rock formations called Tufa. There are two sets of Tufa that you can view - one is near the visitor's center, right off 395. The other -which the South Tufa...
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