Mono Lake Photos – Otherworldly Eastern Sierra Scenes

This large eastern Sierra lake is quite a prominent landmark, and tends to really leave an impression on visitors. This is in large part to the “tufa” limestone & calcite formations that dot the shore in various locations. Here are some Mono Lake photos…most notable of which were taken at sunset.

Tourists & Pink Sunset Hues over Tufas - Mono Lake photos
Pink Sunset Hues at Mono Lake Tufas

Sunset Over The Tufas

Show up near dusk and you’re bound to find photographers of all stripes, setting up tripods and composing their shots. These truly bizarre tufa rock formations give the impression you’re on another planet.

Limestone + Calcite Tufas at dusk - Mono Lake photos
Limestone + Calcite Tufas at dusk

While it’s nice to see them during the day to appreciate their texture and detail, sunset lends itself well to silhouette shoots, with stunning lake reflections as well.

Orange Tourist + Tufa Sunset Silhouettes
Tourist + Tufa Silhouettes

Apparently this alkaline lake doesn’t have any water flowing out of it, and at one point the city Los Angeles started diverting some of the water flowing into it. This resulted in the lake level ultimately dropping, and an interruption in the migration pattern of passing birds.

Shoreline and Daytime Tufa Reflections
Shoreline and Daytime Reflections

Thankfully, a group united and won a law suit to force L.A. to restore the lake back to it’s original glory.

Although the lake and surrounding region is considered a desert, it is in fact situated at over 6,300ft in elevation! What a fascinating little tidbit. I really get the impression that I’m at a low, arid elevation here. The cooler temperatures should have given it away, though.

Yes, this is the high desert

Daytime Photos

Deep Blue Waters of Mono Lake
Azure Beauty

Mono Lake is famous for it’s beautiful blue color. I took these photos from the 395 roadside to the north.

Natural Rock Garden on HWY 395 Roadside
Natural Rock Garden

This pile of scenic boulders by the highway has quite a nice view of the lake and eastern Sierra peaks in the distance.

Negit Island

Mesmerizing Blue Hues on Water at Negot Island - Mono Lake photos
Mesmerizing Blue Hues

Shot from the west, I love this tight crop of “Negit Island” and a windy, picturesque dirt road to accompany it.

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About My Photos

The images on this website are available for licensing and/or sale as framed prints. If you’d like to purchase them for a blog, news article, or gift, feel free to contact me with the specifics. This way you’re supporting photographers such as me directly (as opposed to buying from a faceless stock photo corporation).

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– Nathan Allen

About Me

Photographer Nathan Allen

I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.