Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra

Field Trip on 9-11 August, 2013
With Caroline Lambert
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South Shore, Mono Lake


Along Highway 395 on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada are a number of natural and man-made marvels. Carved into the side of the Sierra are hidden jewels of lakes (June Lake, Parker Lake, Virginia Lake, Lundy Lake to name a few), and dusty roads lead to interesting rock formations and abandoned places like the ghost town of Bodie. One of the biggest attractions for photographers is Mono Lake. When drained excessively in past decades, interesting rock formations called tufas were exposed. The focus of our trip will be the tufas at the south shore of Mono Lake, but there are plenty of other places to photograph.

We will meet at 6pm on Friday, August 9 at the Whoa Nellie Deli near Lee Vining. This deli is in the Mobil gas station at the end of Highway 120 just before it meets Highway 395. From there we will go to photograph the sunset at the tufas, and perhaps do star trails. We'll be back there in the morning for sunrise as well. During the day on Saturday we will make the trek out to Bodie. After another early evening meal at the Whoa Nellie Deli, we can either go back to the tufas, or choose another location for sunset. That depends on the conditions and the interests of the trip participants. Similar for sunrise on Sunday. I plan to be at Olmstead Point along the Tioga Pass Rd in Yosemite for a sunset shot of Tenaya Lake on Sunday.

Special Instructions

You are responsible for finding your own accommodation for this trip. If you want a budget outing, there are plenty of campgrounds, such as Lundy Canyon. Otherwise, find a motel in Lee Vining ( or June Lake ( I will be staying at the June Lake Motel in June Lake.

Note - Bodie and Yosemite have park entrance fees. There is a parking fee for the south shore of Mono Lake too.

Sunrise is around 6am, sunset a little before 8pm.

What to Bring

All your gear: camera, tripod, lenses, filters, batteries, chargers, memory cards, remote. If you want to do star trails, you need a wide angle lens and it's best to have a remote with an interval timer.

Expect cool mornings and hot days (low 50's to mid 80's). Have layers, sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses, sturdy walking shoes, and lots of water.

Bring supplies for lunches and be prepared to eat breakfast at your motel before leaving for sunrise, or bring your breakfast with you. We'll have early evening meals at the Whoa Nellie Deli (though that's not required).

There are mosquitoes.

Field Trip meeting location: 22 Vista Point Rd, Lee Vining, CA at 6:00pm August 9
(no carpool meeting location for this trip)


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