Lee Vining

The under appreciated former mining town of Lee Vining lies along the eastern entrance into Yosemite National Park. While access is cut off in the winter months due to snow in the high Sierras, this is the leading launch point for fishing and backpacking into Mono Lake, June Lake, Grant Lake, and Mammoth Lakes.

Top Adventures in Lee Vining

  • Explore and Hike Mono Lake

    Mono Lake is was formed at least 760,000 years ago, making it one of North America's oldest lake. Explore the coastline of this unique lake filled with unusual rock formations called tufas. Photograph the tufa towers with the majestic mountains in...

  • Hike Panum Crater Trail

    If you are visiting Mono Lake, the Panum Crater Trail is not to be missed! From 395, take highway 120 east for about 2.5 miles. Look for a small wooden sign for Panum Crater and turn left onto a dirt road. If you reach the turn-off to the South Tu...

    3.3 miles 874 ft gain

  • Explore the Mono Lake Tufas under the Milky Way

    This past spring, I got the urge to photograph the Milky Way over the other-worldly landscape of Mono Lake, a large, desert saline lake at the edge of the eastern Sierras in California. One of the the lake's defining features is it’s incredible t...

  • Camp at Mono Lake

    Many people visit Mono Lake for a quick photo opportunity of the South Tufa. When I discovered camping was allowed on the North side of the lake, I knew I had to experience it and share.You head East on Cemetery Rd. just North of Lee Vining. This ...

  • Explore the Black Point Fissures

    This area is such a great way to spend time exploring. It's a lot different than what it's surrounded by, making it a great change of pace in the Eastern Sierra.Just East of Lee Vining, California is Black Point, which sits on the North side of th...

    2 miles 500 ft gain

  • Hike to Upper Sardine Lake

    Directions (from south of June Lake): 395 northTurn right onto the 158Keep right at fork onto Parker Lake Rd and go about 0.5 milesTurn right at first right and head all the way to the top until you hit a parking lot/camping ground/trail head From...

  • Camp at Junction Campground, Mono County

    Junction campground is by far one of my favorite campsites when I am visiting the High Sierra and Tuolumne Meadows. The only downside is, you can only camp certain months; usually from June through October when highway 120 is open.  The Junction c...

  • Hike to Parker Lake

    Parker Lake is tucked beneath the giant mountains of Mount Wood, Mount Lewis, and Parker Peak. I hiked the Parker Lake trail during peak foliage season and I was blown away by the amazing fall colors. The trail starts off with a steady and rocky c...

    3.6 miles 646 ft gain

  • Climb the Third Pillar of Dana

    From Highway 120 (Tioga Road) you can park at the lot just above Tioga Lake. Another mile up the road is the Yosemite entrance, so if you hit that, you've gone too far. Follow the trail around the south side of the lake and into Glacier Canyon. Af...

  • Hike up Mount Dana

    There's something special about the landscape that Yosemite National Park offers, and the scenery around Mount Dana is no different.The trail begins at the Tioga Gate entrance to Yosemite with the trailhead at the north end of the small parking lo...

    6 miles 3120 ft gain

  • Hike to Middle Gaylor Lake, Yosemite NP

    The main trail to the Middle Gaylor Lake is 2 miles round-trip, but if you’re looking for more adventure, you can hike a little further to Upper Gaylor Lake (which will add a mile to your trip) or continue on to the Great Sierra Mine (which will a...

    2 miles 600 ft gain

  • Climb North Peak via the NW Ridge

    DirectionsAlthough North Peak lies right on the border of Yosemite, the hike starts just outside the park at the Saddle Bag Lake trail-head. There are also some campsites here if you wish to spend the night, but I think they are usually in high de...

  • Tours

    More Tours

    Nearby camping, hotels, and more

    • Lee Vining, California

      Trailhead Group

      Overview Trailhead Group Campground is located in the eastern high Sierra Nevada Mountains of California at just over 10,000 feet in elevation. Also known as Saddlebag Lake Group Campground, the fa...

    • Mono County, California

      Obsidian Flat

      Overview Obsidian Flat Group Campground, located just outside of Mammoth Lakes, California, provides an opportunity for a group to enjoy a secluded getaway in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. W...

    • Bridgeport, California

      Trumbull Lake

      Overview Trumbull Lake Campground is located next to its scenic namesake at an elevation of 9,980 feet. The lake is one of ten alpine lakes in the area. Visitors enjoy fishing, canoeing and explori...

    • June Lake Loop

      Oh Ridge

      Overview The outstanding lake and mountain views at Oh Ridge Campground make it a favorite spot for both families and anglers. It sits in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains in close proximity to t...

    • June Lake, California

      Silver Lake Campground June Lake (Ca

      Overview Silver Lake Campground is nestled between Silver Lake and the dramatic scenery of the Ansel Adams Wilderness in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. This is a great base camp...

    • June Lake, California

      June Lake

      Overview Easy access to fishing, a marina and boat rentals make June Lake Campground a favorite spot for both families and anglers. The facility sits in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains in close...

    More Lodging Options