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Lee Vining, California: What Seems To Be The Middle Of Nowhere Is Right In The Middle Of Everywhere

Posted on November 26, 2018 at 12:15 AM

Lee Vining, California: What Seems To Be The Middle Of Nowhere Is Right In The Middle Of Everywhere


Lee Vining is somewhere on U.S. Route 395 in California between Bishop, the middle of nowhere, and Yosemite National Park; it also happens to make the perfect basecamp for an extended visit during spring, summer, or fall. The Murphey’s Motel specifically, had me for a week. Warm rooms, free Wi-Fi, lots of hot water, and a 2-minute walk from the local coffee shop made for the perfect set up.

As a visitor from central Arizona I hadn’t ever been north of Lone Pine on the U.S. 395. I hadn’t been to the Eastern Sierras since 2013 when I hiked towards the Mt. Whitney summit from Mt. Whitney portal, so this trip was pretty exciting. As an absolute non-expert of the area I can tell you adventurers across the nation understand the Eastern Sierras as an elite landscape where even the best of the best are challenged to the extreme.


First, on the way in(coming from the south), you need to stop at Manzanar. If you’re unfamiliar with the name then you truly need to take an extra hour to learn about one of ten internment camps of World War II imprisoning Japanese Americans. Manzanar National Historic Site is said to be one of the most preserved locations across the United States. It’s a somber education for those unaware, and a deafening tone of heartbreak for each of us.


Once settled in to Murphey’s Motel in Lee Vining the options are endless. June Lake loop, Mono Lake, Bridgeport, California, Silver Lake, Mammoth Lakes, really too many lakes to name and summits beyond your vehicle’s ability. Our photos below starting with Convict Lake, will give your imagination a good start.

*As Mother Nature will always choose exactly how adventures will go, please consider your timing may or may not coincide with the most bubbling color for fall or may toss freezing temps your way. Stay prepared for this region’s change of season with proper clothing, outdoor gear, maps, and caution.









Did You Know: Ansel Adams, widely known for his outdoor photography is also known for his controversial book, Born Free and Equal, published in 1944.




Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.

Categories: Travel, Articles Of Aspiration, Hiking

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1 Comment

Reply AlphaRoaming
4:43 PM on November 25, 2018 
You should include the awesome food at the Whoa Nellie Deli. It's up the hill at the Mobil station. Very well known amongst frequent Tioga Pass visitors.