Our trip to Mono Lake in Lee Vining, Ca.

I posted last week about how we stopped at Mount Whitney in Lone Pine, Ca while traveling the scenic hwy 395. Our next planned stop along that route was in Lee Vining, Ca. Lee Vining is the home to Mono Lake Tufa, a majestic lake that covers 65 square miles and has millions of migratory birds every year. It also has these strange but very cool “tufa” towers which are calcium carbonate deposits (or something like that). Obviously we had to stop and see it.

mono lake tufa

Lee Vining is a very small mountain town. I believe the actual population is less than 250! Of course they cater to tourists since that is the majority of who goes there. We had a touch and go time getting there since there was a winter system moving through and we did not have chains for our tires. We forged ahead and made it with much prayer and sweating. We stayed at the Lake View Lodge . It is across the street from the Lake and had a great view. It was an older but cozy motel. It was perfect for what we needed.

mono lake tufa

We checked in as it was still snowing. Since it was the dead of winter many of the seasonal businesses were closed which made for a quiet, sleepy but beautiful little town. Jon walked to find us food since it was snowing and freezing out. What a good man. He came back with yummy food from Nicely’s which was thankfully open.

mono lake tufa

We got up early the next morning and stopped by the general store. It was the funnest, coziest store that sold everything you could need and had hot food and coffee!!  We still talk about how neat that place was and how good the pastry’s were.

mono lake tufa

We drove to the lake which was only a few miles away. It was such a quiet, cold, serene morning. It was probably only 15 degrees. We left our fee in the drop box since it is a state park, there was not a soul in sight. It was so amazing. We had the whole lake to ourselves.

mono lake tufa

We bundled up with as many layers and blankets as we could find and walked down to the lake. The walkway was stroller friendly which was a huge plus because I didn’t feel I could keep Sera warm enough out of her car-seat. It was so cold that the air hurt our lungs.

mono lake tufa

We didn’t stay long but it was so worth the time it took to get us all down there and then back into the van. Having kids just means it takes more effort and planning to pull off trips like these but they are totally doable! Adventure is out there.

mono lake tufa