SR120 drops quickly in elevation down to the town of Lee Vining on Highway I-395. Be sure to visit the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve at the south end of Mono Lake, where you can see the world famous tufa towers. Also plan on stopping at the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center at the north end of Lee Vining, which offers movies about the Mono Basin, a bookstore and gift shop, and many excellent exhibits.
Keep going north on I-395 for a half day side trip to the Ghost Town of Bodie, which is maintained in a “state of arrested decay” by California State Parks and is considered the best, most well preserved historic ghost town in the USA, attracting visitors from all over the world.
Towards the south end of Lee Vining, you will find the Chamber of Commerce and Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore, with a picnic area outside, a film about Mono Lake, and a great selection of local books, artwork, and souvenirs. Stroll the main street of Lee Vining to stretch your legs, have a bite to eat and do some souvenir shopping, before heading on to the last leg of your Highway 120 Adventure.