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California's Mono Lake and Devil's Postpile - Must See Destinations!
They are, indeed! Look, if you are going to Yosemite National Park and have the time, go to Mono Lake and Devil's Postpile, both are off California's main eastern Hwy 395. From Yosemite, simply take the Tioga Pass Road, which puts you on top of the Yosemite Valley floor. This road will also provide some "out of this world" vistas you will want to record. The road eventually will connect to Hwy 395 near Lee Vining. Mono lake is due east of it. Mono Lake is at least 760,000 years old, one of the oldest lakes. Like the Salton Sea in southern California, it has a very high salinity. Despite this, the salt formations provide a "alien" atmosphere to it as you gaze across the lake (it covers 60 square miles and is 13 miles wide by eight miles wide). It really is quite stunning in certain light. Swimming in the lake is interesting because the salinity level (2.5 times that of the ocean) makes you float. The lake is a favorite site for bird watchers and brine shrimp. Mono Lake is a National protected area, but boating is allowed and a great place for kayaks!
Devil's Postpile National Monument is just down the highway, a little past the town of Crestview. In order to see this fascinating monument, you must board a shuttle bus in the town of Mammonth Lakes. It runs every 20-40 minutes from The Village or the Gondola Building. Beware, bears visit the parking lot. The cost is $7. The shuttle will take close to the Postpile but you will have to walk a small distance to it. The shuttle will also take you to another fantastic site, the Rainbow Falls, where the San Joaquin River drops 100 ft., creating a stunning waterfall! Both places are real photo op areas!
Hwy 395 is California's lesser traveled and used main highway from south to north. It provides many interesting sites to stop and explore. The Inyo National Forest borders it.