Mono Lake Lives!



Mono Lake is such an otherworldly and unique place that I always enjoy returning and watching its water rise. I like to grab a room in Lee Vining and spend a day or two prowling around the lake and climbing into the canyons of the Sierra nearby. The drive south on Highway 395 with detours

on the June Lake Loop and into Mammoth and Devil’s Postpile are wonderful nearby excursions, too, as are jaunts up to Virginia Lakes and out to Bodie (see our related stories.) There’s always the short cruise uphill, as well, over Tioga Pass and back into the high country of Yosemite. Come to think of it, I’d better book a few more days in Lee Vining. I’ll need them to cover all things I like to do in the neighborhood. While I’m at it, I think I’ll also spend some time in the little town of Bridgeport, a few miles north on Highway 395. I like it up there, too. Meanwhile, back to its salty shores, the success of the long and arduous effort to save Mono Lake is an inspiring story. Mono Lake proves that migrating water is sometimes better left at home.


Although Stacey Simon has moved on since we shot our story, the Mono Lake Committee is still hard at work and its information center and bookstore remains open to all. And I’m pleased to report that the lake’s water level continues to rise. As of January 2, 2007 Mono Lake was 6,384.5 feet above sea level, up almost ten feet since water replenishment began. To reach its ultimate target, the lake has 6 and one-half feet to go. The thirsty lake continues to enjoy its long, slow and well-deserved toast to good health.


Mark Twain apparently hated it and Los Angeles drained a lot of it, but determined people fought hard to save this salty treasure. Long live Mono Lake!
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