Gateway to Mono Lake and Yosemite National Park

Lee Vining Travel Blog

 › entry 30 of 33 › view all entries

We traveled to Lee Vinning which is the home of Mono Lake. Having left Yosemite and driven through Tioga Pass (Highway 120) through the park, we eventually made it to Lee Vining which is the gateway to Yosemite National Park and Mono Lake. The town of Lee Vining is located at the base of the Sierra Wilderness below Tioga Pass. We made a stop because we had seen on our map, that there was a lake worth visiting - Mono Basin. Since we had started off with the thought that we would be touring Mammoth Lakes, we decided we would not spend a lot of time here, which we didn't.

We arrived at the Mono Lake Visitor center a little after 1:00 pm and got some basic information before driving down to the actual lake. It was interesting to see from a distance, the white substance sticking out of the lake like mushrroms. We ere eager to find out more, but we did not want to hike down the guided  hiking trail. The lake apparently is one of the oldest in the western hemisphere and is absolutely beautiful from a distance, but not so much up close. The substance we saw sticking out of like mushrooms is known as Tufa. Read my review on Mono Lake for more information.

There is a museum inside the information center where you can see more of the tufa and read more about their formations and the history  of the area.

The town offers restaurants, a market, service station, two information centers and different accommodation options.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Lee Vining Sights & Attractions review
Exhibits on Mono Lake
The visitor center provides information on the history, geology, and wildlife of the basin. Stop by the visitor center to also view the permanent exhi… read entire review
Lee Vining Sights & Attractions review
Unusual Limestone Sphires of Tufa
Mono Basin is the western most basin of the Range and Basin province which stretches between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges… read entire review
Lee Vining Sights & Attractions review
One of America's Scenic Byways
Tioga Pass (highway 120) is one of the most scenic bypasses in America. This mountain pass is located within the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California… read entire review
Lee Vining Sights & Attractions review
One of the Oldest Lakes in the Western Hemisphere
Located in Lee Vining at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains is Mono Basin. Mono Lake is an ancient inland sea; one of the oldest lakes in the We… read entire review
Lee Vining
photo by: Lynsey_loves_Cali