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Mono Lake                

Photo Credit Jim Snyder

Mono Lake Kayak, Canoe, SUP & Kayak Fishing Information

Mono Lake is an amazing place to paddle. kayaking mono LakeOne can’t help but appreciate the lake’s harsh beauty while paddling upon its salty waters. The lake has a mystical quality; utterly barren, with a silent, prevailing stillness, with an exceptional beauty of its own. Surrounded by the high desert, the lake’s water breathes life into the desolate landscape of the Great Basin.

Mono Lake may be one of the most memorable lakes you will ever paddle in the entire state of California. It lies on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where high alpine peaks descend rapidly in elevation to the Mono Basin. Mono Lake is a massive body of water covering about 65 square miles, at 6383 feet above sea level, just east of Lee Vining. The Mono Basin is accessed via Highway 395, which is one of the most scenic highways in Northern California.

The panoramas between the black islands and bluffs are spectacular. Photographers come from all over, seeking to capture the interplay of light, water, and sky on the mountains and desert. The Mono Basin is a large, relatively flat expanse surrounded by mountains. Due to its proximity to the mountains, Mono Lake has a reputation for and extremes of heat and savage afternoon winds that can really whip up the lake’s water surface.

In fact, winds on Mono Lake can reach hurricane force on a typical afternoon. There are warning signs posted all around the lake for hazardous wind conditions. A number of kayakers have been rescued and several have lost their lives while paddling unprepared for the severe windy conditions that can occur on Mono Lake.

Mono Lake is reminiscent of San Luis Reservoir, Lake Tahoe, Lake Isabella, and the Salton Sea. All four have intimidating wind conditions. Use extreme caution if you choose to paddle any of these lakes.

Kayaking Mono Lake

Begin kayaking early in the morning, especially during the summer months. Winds from the south pick up about midday, which could make the return trip extremely challenging and exhausting.

Kayak Fishing: Mono Lake is a majestic body of water covering about 65 square miles. Mono Lake’s alkalinity makes life impossible for fish. In contrast the freshwater streams flowing into Mono Lake are home to non-native rainbow and brown trout.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 40 44 50 58 66 75 83 82 75 65 53 42
Low 19 22 26 31 39 47 53 51 44 35 27 20

Open: Most of Mono Lake is accessible any time of the year. The road to South Tufa Reserve is kept plowed, allowing year-round access except immediately after large storms.

The Best Places to Kayak in California Guide BookFees: Day use fee for the South Tufa Reserve.

Lake Facilities: Hiking, photography, bird watching, swimming, boating, and cross-country skiing are just a few of the many activities you can enjoy at Mono Lake.





Copyright © 2013, to Present Janice L Green Paddling