Twenty minutes east of Yosemite National Park, this 760,000-year-old lake serves as a salty inland home to some 100 species of birds. During the summer months, birders are likely to spot snowy plovers, red-necked phalaropes, and dozens of other shorebirds gorging on the lake's generous—and unquestionably tasty—provision of alkali flies and brine shrimp. Stop by the Mono Lake Committee Information Center and Bookstore in Lee Vining for a complimentary birding map (760-647-6595). Don't forget to ask about the free, ranger-led bird walks that are held every Friday and Sunday morning during the late spring and summer.
This article was first published in July 2004. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.