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Mono Lake

Distance: 333 miles one-way. If you haven't seen a tufa tower (or don't know what one is), proceed immediately to Mono Lake, rent a kayak and paddle out to these bizarre turrets in this inland salt lake. Insiders know that this lake northeast of Yosemite is a perfect example of one of California's more extreme forces of nature. Forest Service Visitor Center, (760) 647-3044; the Mono Lake Committee,
Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times
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