South Tufa Hike

Walk date: August, 2022

The VR gallery in today’s post comes from a walk to South Tufa in California. South Tufa is on Mono Lake and contains columns of a mineral deposit called Tufa that form strange otherworldly shapes.

White Tufa columns on the banks of Mono lake
White Tufa columns on the banks of Mono lake

I was driving from Salt Lake City to Seattle in the middle of a heatwave, a fact that was driven home for me when the air conditioning in my car stopped working – leaving me driving with no cooling facility on days with external temperatures of 108 degrees Fahrenheit (about 42 Celcius). While I hugged the coastline as much as possible after San Francisco, I started the trip by going to a Las Vegas conference and also wanted to see Death Valley. Thankfully the air conditioning did not give in until after I had left these areas!

That may be a slight aside, but it is quite a large part of the memory for me of all of the stops along the way! And one of the first stops I made was to see the mineral deposits at South Tufa – further posts will show my visits to various places at Yosemite national park, whale spotting at Depoe Bay, numerous beautiful beaches on the California coastline as well as a few other highlights.

Due to getting confused by some relatively simple roadsigns… I actually parked at Navy Beach and walked to South Tufa. It was scorching hot that day, and the path was made up of tiny rocks, or perhaps smaller pieces of mineral deposits that crunched under foot – trees and bushes at the side of the trail were burned back.

The walk from Navy Beach to South Tufa
The walk from Navy Beach to South Tufa

Strange formations lined the sides of the path and the end led to a sort of grotto that appeared almost as if it were the set of a miniature city used for a science fiction film set on a faraway planet.

  • Strange mineral formation on the path to South Tufa
  • Strange Tufa formation along the path from Navy beach
  • South Tufa columns at the end of the path from Navy beach

The end of the trail lead to small bays surrounded by columns on all sides looking out to Mono Lake such as the one shown in the picture at the top of this post and the one below.

Looking out at the Tufa columns in Mono lake
Tufa columns in Mono lake

For a helpful guide on navigating the images in the VR gallery, please see the tips pinned to the left-hand side, or follow the link to the How To page. The gallery contains 13 images and will loop when you get to the end. Please click the image below to enjoy the VR experience:

South Tufa columns on the edge of Mono lake
VR Gallery – South Tufa

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