Mono Lake is north of Mammoth, about 40 miles. Most of Southern California residents are aware of the Mono Lake controversy, in regards to the diversion of the tributary springs for water supplies in Southern California, particularly, LA.
What most of us don't know, is just why it is such an important ecological site. For instance, did you know that Mono lake is approximately 2 1/2 times as salty as the ocean? There is no outlet to the ocean and is fed by melting runoff. Because of the lack of an outlet, the dissolved salts in the runoff remain in the lake and raise the water's ph.
It is also one of the oldest lakes in North America, believed to have been formed 760,000 years ago with the Long Valley Eruption.
The area surrounding the lake is geologically active, both volcanic and earthquake, though the last volcanic eruption was 350 years ago.
Looks to me like the setting for a Star Trek episode...