Mono Lake defies the geological odds as one of the older lakes in existence. Lakes tend to be short-lived features, geologically speaking.
It's not exactly beautiful, but in it's strangeness it's easy to find beauty, if that makes sense. For instance, it has these features that grow on the edge called tufa as the result of some gurgling and percolating mud gunk or something. I know that's pretty technical, but trust me, it's worth exploring, not that I did today, for I did not. I'll post a picture of that in the comments.
For those familiar with my fiction, I really like this lake and all of the CA portion of US 395. In McGhee in the Gloaming, there's a section where McGhee pulls into a pullout to look over the scene. Here's what that looks like in real life (that's 395 in the foreground snaking up to the lake) (and this pullout is pretty famous I think, judging by all the travel stickers on the guard rail):