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Taken near Black Point, Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, California on February 15th, 2015

Mono Lake is famous mostly for its tufa, those bizarre, inverted stalactites of calcium carbonate. Thus the surrounding region is often overlooked. Which is a shame, because the wonders of the area don’t stop at the tufa. To the south there are a serious of volcanic craters and extruded rocks. To the north there is a playground of boulders reminiscent of nothing so much as Joshua Tree National Park. And just above the lake lies Black Point.

At first glance Black Point looks like nothing so much as an unremarkable, raised hill. But closer inspection reveals a treasure trove of interesting things. There are acres of black sand, deep slot canyons, and high, craggy bluffs. The bluffs at Black Point provide a wonderful view of Mono Lake and the Sierra Crest to the south, which make them a perfect place to take in the sunset.

Two weekends ago I was wandering around these bluffs on a cloudless day. But as is often the case the cooling air leading up to sunset caused the formation of a high layer of thin clouds. As the sun dipped below the horizon these clouds caught fire in a show of pinks and oranges. Reflected in the calm lake you can see the Mono Craters, the Sierra Crest near Mammoth, and the eastern escarpment of Yosemite National Park.

View more beautiful Sierra Nevada photos.

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