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Navy Beach is on the south shore, where a parking lot is close to the water. It is the easiest place to access the lake and involves the least amount of portaging. You can also launch from Black Point if you want to paddle to the islands, so long as you don't mind carrying your kayak for a long distance.

All types of boating are allowed on Mono Lake, but most of the watercraft you will see are kayaking mono lakecanoes or kayaks. Access is restricted to all islands between April 1st and September 1st to protect the nesting gulls. Kayakers are required to stay away 200 yards away from Osprey nesting sites located on offshore tufa towers.

Most of Mono Lake is accessible all year round. The road to South Tufa Reserve is plowed, during the winter, allowing year-round access except immediately after large storms.

Mono Lake is the largest natural lake that lies completely within the state of California. At 760,000 years old it is among the oldest lakes in North America. The lake is fed from melting snow run-off from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but it has no outlet. Deprived of its freshwater sources, the volume of Mono Lake was cut in half, while its salt content doubled. It is more than two times as salty as the ocean. The deepest point in Mono Lake is 159 feet and average depth is 57 feet. If you choose to venture out into Mono Lake be aware that its waters hide many unseen hazardous.

Mono Lake’s high salt content makes life impossible for fish to thrive. In contrast, the freshwater streams flowing into Mono Lake are home to non-native rainbow and brown trout. The lake is so salty that nothing really lives in it except tiny brine shrimp. There abundance attracts many sea and shore birds, including California Sea Gulls, Terns and Grebes. In addition to the awe-inspiring scenery, the abundance of bird life makes Mono Lake a visual feast.

Other recreational activities you can enjoy at Mono Lake include, hiking, photography, bird watching, swimming, boating, and cross-country skiing. Naturalists lead free tufa walks at the South Tufa Area three times daily from late June through Labor Day, and bird watching walks are offered at the Mono Lake County Park and State Natural Reserve boardwalk from mid-May through Labor Day. Canoe and kayak rentals are available during the summer months.

Mono Lake and its surrounding watershed encompass a unique region in California. Rubber rabbit bush lines its shore, along with sage brush and Jeffrey Pines.

June is the best time of year to paddle Mono Lake, before the heat becomes overwhelming in the blistering hot summer months. kayaking mono lake

Due to the very salty water, it is a good idea to rinse all your gear in fresh water after kayaking Mono Lake.

The State Natural Reserve is surrounded by the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area, and is operated by the Forest Service. There are no campgrounds in the State Natural Reserve or the Scenic Area. Dispersed camping is permitted in most of the Scenic Area above the exposed lake bed lands. Campfire permits are required. Established campgrounds are located nearby in Lundy Canyon, Lee Vining Canyon, and the June Lake Loop.

Camping is prohibited on the southern and western half of the shoreline, but you can camp on the eastern shore of the lake, away from the hot springs. You can also camp in the center of the eastern side of Paoha Island, except from April 1st through September 1st, due to the presence of migratory birds.

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After an invigorating paddle, the winds die as evening falls, and you can fall to sleep to the gentle lapping of waves on the shore. Kayaking enthusiasts will savor the paddling opportunities Mono Lake has to offer. It is the perfect haven for an unforgettable paddling excursion.

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