Mono County, on the “East Side” of Yosemite National Park, is a sensational place to stay — and to start or end a trip to California’s Eastern Sierra. Just 12 breathtaking miles from Yosemite’s dramatic east entrance, Mono County is part of the ocean-to-mountain-to-desert triangle that many visitors travel to see as much of California as possible. Just be sure to plan enough time in Mono County for these “don’t miss” things to do and see:
- Mono Lake’s South Tufa State Reserve. Far saltier than the ocean, this vast inland sea is home to trillions of brine shrimp and millions of migratory birds – and the intriguing limestone tufa formations make the shoreline a photographer’s dream.
- Bodie State Historic Park. A thriving mining town in the late 1800s, Bodie is now the west’s largest, unrestored and authentic ghost town, with about 170 buildings still standing in a state of arrested decay.
- Mammoth Mountain. Ride the gondola to the “Top of the World” at 11,053 feet – and don’t miss hiking to the south ridge for awesome views of the Mammoth Lakes Basin.
- Devils Postpile. One of the world’s finest examples of columnar basalt, this unique geological formation is unforgettable — and the 3-mile hike continuing to Rainbow Falls is highly recommended.
- Outdoor Adventure. Hike, fish, climb, golf, kayak, go horseback riding…fun in the outdoors is not just a pastime in the Eastern Sierra, it’s a passion!
Lodging and campgrounds in Mono County, conveniently accessed by scenic US Highway 395, are a super option, especially during Yosemite’s busy season. Plus, the YARTS bus takes hikers and sightseers to Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite Valley daily throughout the summer. And if you want to get to the heart of Mono County even faster, fly Alaska Airlines to Mammoth-Yosemite Airport (MMH) direct from Los Angeles (LAX).
Free Visitor Guide: MonoCounty.org/800-845-7922.