The Lee Vining Canyon Waterfalls are waterfalls tumbling into the steep, avalanche-prone area that links the Tioga Pass Entrance of Yosemite to the Mono Lake Basin. Given the volume of snow that typically forms here, these waterfalls were really my excuse to showcase the ephemeral waterfalls here while also showing some of the surrounding scenery (which are attractions themselves).
Perhaps the most noticeable of the falls in this V-shaped canyon is the one fed by the regulated Ellery Lake (pictured above). The watercourse fed by Ellery Lake also continues to cascade as it makes its way towards Mono Lake. We also noticed longer cascading further down the road (pictured below).
These falls aren’t anything to get worked up about, but I thought I’d mention them anyways while also showing some of the scenery that might motivate you to make the scenic drive around Lee Vining and into Yosemite’s High Country via the Tioga Pass at the park’s eastern boundary.
Technically, Lee Vining Canyon is not part of Yosemite National Park, but I’ve included the waterfalls here since you’re bound to see a few of them if you head into the park through the Tioga Pass in the early weeks of Summer. The Tioga Road is a Summer-only road and closes in the Autumn, Winter, and even the Spring months (depending on snowpack).
To give you some context of Lee Vining Canyon, it was roughly an hours drive north of Mammoth Lakes, where the Hwy 120 turnoff from Hwy 395 is just south of Lee Vining. Mammoth Lakes is roughly 5 hours drive from Los Angeles via the Hwy 14 and Hwy 395.
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