About Lee Vining Canyon
Lee Vining Canyon cuts deep into the granite peaks of the Sierra Nevadas, formed by ice age glaciers. Meadows of grassland and patches of forest cover the flat canyon floor. Bare granite cliffs and slopes of broken rock cover the canyon walls, with breathtaking peaks touching the sky above.
Yosemite National Park lies just beyond Tioga Pass, at the top of Lee Vining Canyon. In the other direction, Lee Vining Canyon opens into Mono Basin, close to the town Lee Vining. California highway 120 makes the climb from Lee Vining to Tioga Pass. Because the canyon floor climbs little until the end, where it makes a sudden 1500-foot climb in just a mile. To build a highway up the canyon, it was necessary to climb high onto the canyon wall, where a stunning view of the scenery awaits at every turn.
Lee Vining Canyon was named after Leroy Vining who settled here in 1852 and operated a sawmill in the canyon.