Old Marina

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve

Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California

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Old Marina


  • A visitor walks through the tall grass at Mono Lake's Old Marina.- Old Marina
  • David Gaines Boardwalk.- Old Marina
  • Shorline of Mono Lake.- Old Marina
  • Visitors explore the shores of Mono Lake.- Old Marina
  • Fall colors line Lee Vining Creek as it enters Mono Lake.- Old Marina
  • A storm over Mono Lake.- Old Marina
  • Calcium carbonate tufa formed from underwater springs in Mono Lake.- Old Marina
  • Mono Lake is a favorite destination among photographers.- Old Marina
  • Looking northeast from Picnic Grounds Road.- Old Marina
  • Mono Lake's islands can be reached by boat, but beware of sunken tufa. - Old Marina
  • Negit Island is a protected nesting site for birds.- Old Marina
  • Slippery alkaline mud on the shores of Mono Lake. - Old Marina
  • Storm over Black Point and Mono Lake.- Old Marina
  • Picnic Grounds Road.- Old Marina
Overview + Weather
ADA-accessible path. Tufa. Bird watching.
Crowded. Insects. Slippery mud.
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, CA
Pets allowed: 
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


With a circumference of approximately 40 miles, exploring the shores of Mono Lake is an ambitious task. Travelers on Highway 395 are most familiar with the western banks, conveniently located just off of the highway.

For those with only a little time, a quick stop at Old Marina offers a glimpse of the famous Mono Lake tufa, though examples here are not as impressive as the giant formations of South Tufa

A short, ADA-accessible boardwalk named for David Gaines, an integral force in preserving Mono Lake, leads to the briny water’s edge. An additional 1.5-mile dirt trail climbs the ridge to the visitor’s center, where information on native tribes and the geology of the Mono Basin can be found. The visitor’s center is also accessible by car, it should be noted.

Picnic Grounds Road skirts along the southwestern shore of Mono Lake between Old Marina and the visitor’s center. Though the old marina is no longer there, a primitive launching ramp is located off of Picnic Grounds Road. All boats are welcome on Mono Lake, but beware of submerged tufa and high winds. 

A somewhat dicey crossing of Lee Vining Creek is necessary to continue farther than the boat launch on the gravel road. To reach the opposite side of Lee Vining Creek, pick up Picnic Grounds Road just south of town and the airport.

Parking at Old Marina is $3. Exploring the undeveloped areas of Mono Lake is free of charge.

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(10 within a 30 mile radius)

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(67 within a 30 mile radius)

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