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 822 reviews

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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Have always wanted to see Mono Lake & was not disappointed! Husband & I took a road trip from Folsom California up to Minden Nevada & then down Hwy 395. This was one of my must see stops. Beautiful...
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So Many Osprey
We had not visited since the mid 1980's and were amazed at the changes. It is so beautiful now as it tis filling back up. We missed the Brine Flies we remembered from our prior visit. The weather...
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