The international flavor of the Lee Vining area is
evident when cruising about town in the summer. Thousands
of visitors from all over the globe converge on this
town every summer on their way to one of our most scenic
National Parks, Yosemite. In the winter, when the Tioga
Pass road is closed, this area is quiet and peaceful,
offering scenic splendor free from the summer throngs.
In addition to being the gateway to Yosemite, Lee Vining
boasts the inland sea called Mono Lake, providing a
splendid backdrop to this small roadside town.
Lee Vining is where the lands of fire and ice collide
in a dramatic expanse of geologic wonder. The Mono Craters,
which are a short distance to the east of town, are
vivid reminders of the volcanic past of this region.
They are mountains of pumice with a moon like surface
and sporadic trees and shrubs cling fearlessly to their
slopes. To the west of town lies the grand escarpment
of the High Sierra. The cliffs of the Dana Plateau are
steep and the rock is solid.
Farther to the west, after crossing into Yosemite,
the heavily glaciated reaches of the Yosemite high country
offer interesting examples of glacial polish and exfoliating
granite. The backcountry areas which flank Lee Vining
are unique and offer diversity unparalleled in the range.
Lee Vining is located on Highway 395, at the junction
with Highway 120. Mileages from Lee Vining:
Death Valley 227 miles
Mammoth 25 miles
Yosemite Valley 76 miles
Los Angeles 331 miles
San Francisco 287 miles
Virginia City, Nevada 123 miles
Reno, Nevada 140 miles