Tufa, part 1: Mono Lake February 23, 2011 I have also visited Mono Lake many times over the years, traveling the road from Southern California to Reno, where my parents live. Here are some of my favorite Mono Lake pictures. This is Mono Lake, approaching from the south at an overlook some distance away. On the south shore are some spectacular tufa formations. Tufa is formed when freshwater springs meet with alkaline water, forming calcium carbonate. Tufa is a familiar desert formation. The south shore tufa area is a managed area, and there is a small fee to enter, but it's well worth it. It's the best place to get close up to the tufa formations. Where ever there is tufa, there was once water, as it is a necessary ingredient for tufa formation. Here at the south shore of Mono Lake, this tufa was once submerged by the lake in the distance. The City of Los Angeles began diverting the tributaries to the lake, causing the water level to drop dramatically. In 1994, a court ruling limited the amount of water LA can withdraw from this basin until the lake's level is up to this marker - well, let's just say that's going to to take quite a while. There's a visitor center here, with some great interpretive exhibits and a bookstore inside. The views here are spectacular, too. Also worth a stop is at the Mono Lake Committee's bookstore & gift shop, just up the road in Lee Vining - sorry, no picture At the county park at the north end of the lake, there's a beautiful park with a boardwalk that leads down to the lake. You'll see plenty of tufa out of the water on your walk down to the lake. Although you cannot access the lake (you're not supposed to leave the boardwalk), there's plenty to see. There are a lot of birds here. Mono Lake is known for its birds. Here's Mono Lake in the wintertime ... And here's a winter shot from the overlook on the north side of the lake. Goodbye from Mono Lake! Be Sociable, Share!