"~Lee Vining ~" Top 5 Page for this destination Lee Vining by Yaqui

Lee Vining Travel Guide: 116 reviews and 312 photos

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve

Mono Lake is a beautiful body of water covering about 65 square miles. It is an ancient lake, 1 million years old to be exact -- one of the oldest lakes in North America.

Throughout its long existence, salts and minerals have washed into the lake from Eastern Sierra streams. Freshwater evaporating from the lake each year has left the salts and minerals behind so that the lake is now about 2 1/2 times as salty and 80 times as alkaline as the ocean. It has some of the most beautiful "tufa towers," calcium-carbonate spires and knobs formed by interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water

Lee Vining

The name of this community honors Leroy Vining. In 1852 lt was Tredwell Moore and soldiers of the 2nd Infantry pursued indians of Chief Tenaya's tribe from Yosemite across the Sierra via Bloody Canyon. They took back mineral samples and a prospecting party was organized. In this group were the Vinings, Lee & Dick, who established a camp at what is now Lee Vining Creek.

Home of the Upside-Down House and Mono Basin History Museum/Old Schoolhouse.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Has many servicing and beautiful mountain views.
  • Cons:Can be gusty during summer, and icy in winter.
  • In a nutshell:See some of natures creations!
  • Last visit to Lee Vining: Dec 2008
  • Intro Updated Oct 5, 2014
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Reviews (22)

Comments (12)

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2014 at 2:37 AM

    Hi Dee, Interesting to read that the US Forces used this area during the cold war ,pre 1960 to test weapons. The British use remote areas in South & Western Australia during the Cold War to test Atomic Weapons, these test areas are still prohibited from the general public - radiation!

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Nov 7, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    It seems like something in another world, and note that it is a needed lake to sustain the urban core. Nice tips and photos as always

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    What a great page, love the Mono Lake’s tufa towers.

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    The area around Mono Lake looks beautiful, and sitting in that kayak you saw looks great on such a nice day.

    • Yaqui's Profile Photo
      Sep 4, 2012 at 7:37 PM

      Thank you for visiting my page. Oh, you would love that area, so much to explore and hike around.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Lovely page Dee, I just wish I could see this amazing scenery for myself! It looks a great place to pay a visit.

  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo
    Jul 30, 2010 at 1:04 AM

    Dee, nice tips on Lee Vinning. I may be going up to see the upside down house in town and then over to Bodie. Larry

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Great Lee Vining travel page with lots of stunning photographs of Mono Lake. Its tufa towers certainly look like theme park's wonderland! Thanks for the virtual tour. ~ho & pang

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo
    Nov 7, 2009 at 10:00 AM

    great page and photos on a remarkable place. eerie, beautiful. ? 4 trillion shrimp ?

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Oct 17, 2009 at 9:29 AM

    Looks a great place -Ill be back for more when I get home.

  • cheesecake17's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2009 at 5:42 PM

    love your new find dee, Mono lake looks inviting.Love those old western post for soveniers:-)and most importantly the boys got their tummy happy..no whinning :-))))) lu


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