Mono County

County Information

Situated between the crest of the Sierra Nevada mountains and the California/Nevada border, Mono County offers a rural setting with some of the most spectacular landscapes in the state.

The county was created by an act of the Legislature on April 21, 1861, and was the first of many mining counties to be organized along the eastern slope of the Sierra. When the County was formed, the town of Aurora was named as the county seat. Two years later, however, the result of the  "Sage Brush Survey" determined that Aurora was infact part of Nevada, and thus the seat was moved to the small mining town of Bridgeport, CA.

Bridgeport remains as the County seat, where a historic victorian style courthouse, built in 1880, is featured along Main Street in the center of town, and is still used by the court and for general county business. Additional county offices are located in Mammoth Lakes (the only incorporated town in the County), and a handful of other small communities.

Scenic Higway 395 weaves its way north-south through the heart of the county, effectively dividing the steep mountains to the west from the vast desert valley to the east. As it provides access to Yosemite National Park via Lee Vining, it passes beneath towering peaks, and past broad desert expanses.

The county is home to, and named after Mono Lake, which is a large high-desert saline lake. Also located in the county is the historic gold rush town of Bodie, which during its heyday in the late 1800's was home to as many as 7,000 people, and is today maintained as a State Historic Park for the public to come and enjoy.

Mono County has a land area of 3,030 square miles, or just over 2 million acres, 94% of which is publicly owned. Much of this land is contained in the Inyo and Toiyabe National Forests, though other public land is spread between the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and other state land agencies. As a result, Mono County is well known for its vast scenic and recreational resources, and unsurpassed access to wilderness and adventure.