Mono Lake & Lone Pine
Mono Lake is a large, shallow saline soda lake in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago as a terminal lake in an endorheic basin and is based on 6,383 ft (1,946 m) above sea level.
Lone Pine is a census designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. Lone Pine is located 16 miles (26 km) south-southeast of Independence, at an elevation of 3727 feet (1136 m).
The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. These salts also make the lake water alkaline. This desert lake has an unusually productive ecosystem based on brine shrimp that thrive in its waters, and provides critical nesting habitat for two million annual migratory birds that feed on the shrimp and blackflies (that also feed on the shrimp).
Mono Lake occupies part of the Mono Basin, an endorheic basin that has no outlet to the ocean. Dissolved salts in the runoff thus remain in the lake and raise the water's pH levels and salt concentration. The tributaries of Mono Lake include Lee Vining Creek, Rush Creek and Mill Creek which flows through Lundy Canyon. The basin was formed by geological forces over the last five million years: basin and range crustal stretching and associated volcanism and faulting at the base of the Sierra Nevada. Five million years ago, the Sierra Nevada was an eroded set of rolling hills and Mono Basin and Owens Valley did not yet exist.
Lone Pine is situated in the Owens Valley with the picturesque Alabama Hills lying to the west. Their unique appearance has attracted many film companies over the years. The hills were named in 1862 by Southern sympathizers, commemorating the victories of the Confederate ship CSS Alabama.
Lone Pine and most of the Owens Valley have a high desert climate characterized by hot summers and cold winters. January temperatures range from the middle fifties to upper twenties. July temperatures range from the upper nineties to lower sixties. Low humidity is prevalent, with average annual precipitation averaging less than six inches (152 mm). Snowfall varies greatly from year to year, averaging only five inches annually.
On the way to Whitney Portal and the Alabama Hills visitors will pass over the two Los Angeles Aqueducts, the First Los Angeles Aqueduct (completed 1913) by the LADWP and the Second Los Angeles Aqueduct (completed 1970). These aqueducts traditionally have supplied Los Angeles with about half its water, some 450,000 acre feet (560,000,000 m3) a year.
Because groundwater pumping continues at a higher rate than the rate at which water recharges the aquifer, the result is a long-term trend of desertification in the Owens Valley.
The Sierra Nevada range and the Inyo Mountains dominate the views from the town.
Because of very low light pollution at night the area can provide some good views at the night sky as you can see on the left picture.
Film history at Lone Pine
The Lone Pine Film History Museum, supported by Beverly and Jim Rogers, highlights the area's frequent appearances in Hollywood feature films. The Alabama Hills west of town are frequently used as a filming location for Western movies. Since the early years of filmmaking, directors and their production units have used the Lone Pine area to represent the iconic American West. Approaching the 100th anniversary of The Roundup (1920), the first documented film produced in the area, Lone Pine has played host to hundreds of the industry's best known directors and actors, among them directors William Wyler, John Ford, George Stephens, and William Wellman, and actors John Wayne, Bing Crosby, Gene Autry, Barbara Stanwyck, and Jeff Bridges. The Whitney Portal road was used in the 1941 film High Sierra with Humphrey Bogart, which culminated with a shoot-out between Bogart's character and the police, at the foot of Mount Whitney.
On the way from Yosemite Nationalpark to Mono Lake we also crossed Mount Dana with 13,061 ft (3,981 m) at the highest peak.
In the following you can see some more picture from Mono Lake & Lone Pine ... enjoy!