On the southwest shore of beautiful Mono Lake in California is the unincorporated community of Lee Vining. It is at an elevation of 6,781 feet and has a population of about two hundred fifty residents. Lee Vining is located in the central eastern part of the state on the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Lee Vining Creek flows through the community, which is about four hundred feet above the lake level. Lee Vining’s economy relies heavily on tourism, since it is the closest town to the eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park and it is on the sore of beautiful Mono Lake. In addition to these popular destinations, other nearby attractions include the ghost town of Bodie, June Lake, trout fishing destinations, and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.
Summer is the busiest season in the community as State Route 120, which intersects with State Route 395 in Lee Vining, ascends up Lee Vining Canyon to Tioga Pass into Yosemite is typically closed from about November through May due to heavy snowfall. The Lee Vining Airport is also near the town. The community also has a public library, an elementary and high school, and a year-round Information Center for visitors. The Information Center has excellent information about Mono Lake’s history and the conservation efforts needed to preserve the lake.
Lee Vining has an interesting history. The community has also been known as “Poverty Flats” and “Lakeview”. Leroy Vining, who started the community as a mining camp in 1852. The famous mining towns of Bodie, California and Aurora, Nevada are in the area. The name Poverty Flats came for its unfavorable conditions for agriculture. In the 1920s, the town took the name of “Lakeview” but it was subsequently learned there was already a town of Lakeview, California. The community took the unique name of Lee Vining in 1953. The city of Mammoth Lakes, a city of 7,500 residents that is home to Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, is located thirty miles south of Lee Vining. To learn more about Lee Vining and the Bridgeport, California area at http://www.bridgeportcaliforniahotels.com. For more information about Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, see http://www.bishopca.net/mountain.html.