Oct 3 : Mono Lake and Buckeye Hot Springs

Oct 3 : Mono Lake and Buckeye Hot Springs

Mono Lake was the saving grace of highway 395 for me. It is otherworldly and worth a visit. The “Tufa” rock towers form when underwater springs rich in calcium mix with the waters of the lake, which are rich in carbonates. The resulting reaction forms limestone. Over time the buildup of limestone formed towers, and as the lake receded (been used up…) so much over the years we now have a small forest of these entities.

A nice young tourist took our photo. And then he walked away with a small piece of Tufa in his hoodie pocket. Boo.



It was grey and chilly when I pulled into Bridgeport, Ca. But I found this fun map of the area.


Someone had recommended “The Barn” as a reasonable place for a meal. It is a walk-up beach-style burger and Mexican food place. I got a (terrible) veggie burger and some comfort food tater-tots. I threw away most of the cold veggie burger, but the tater-tots hit the spot


I set up camp near the best path to the hot springs and got a nice photo during a clearing of the clouds


The dogs were happy to get some sunshine too!


It was only a short walk down to the hot springs, maybe a quarter-mile. The frigid river runs parallel and the hot springs run off the rocks.


When I first arrived there was a man, in shorts, then an older man went al fresco and a woman showed up soon thereafter and stripped down. Clothing optional, but these young men weren’t quite ready for that. The ‘water falls’ vary greatly in temperature within a few feet, so the heavier flow is quite hot, while a foot to the left is more moderate. There are about five different “pools” at different temperatures. This is the largest and deepest one, and it feet great.


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