Explore the most popular dogs on leash trails near Lee Vining with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

we hiked all the way to the summit...totally worth it! We went with our 11 and 16 year olds. Very diverse trail. There are about 5 lakes on the way up. Mostly shade and moderate climbs. Loved it!

Great views.

walking
16 days ago

Nice, relatively easy hike for all ages. Easy access for parking and the visitor center is great too.

I walked this one mile totally flat loop in the second part of August. The sun was relentless; sun protection (sunscreen and hat) will help if you are spending a bit of time to visit the area (especially if you extend your stroll to Navy Beach).

The Tufa formations are very scenic and photogenic; the lake in the background and the Sierra Nevada on the horizon do not hurt either. This is a short detour (10 minute drive from 395 and anywhere betwen 30mn and a couple hours for the visit) from Lee Vining, or just from the Tioga Pass road if you go over the Sierras that way.

There was volunteer at the "beach" on that day showing us the single noticeable organism living in the very salty lake: the Brine Shrimp; hardly bigger than a horse hair...

The unusual / unique nature of the Tufa towers, the ease of access and the great photo opportunities make this a no-brainer to put on your list when nearby.

hiking
25 days ago

This trail is best early in the morning so that shadows are cast between the inner and outer rings of the crater. You also get better visibility for Mono Lake. This is a fast, beautiful hike you should try to fit into any Mono Lake trip.

hiking
1 month ago

Well worth the detour from Yosemite. The tufa towers are quite impressive and the lake itself is pretty too.

walking
1 month ago

Pay at the parking lot. Dirt road driving in but regular car ok. Dogs allowed in on leash. No muzzle needed. Dogs are allowed here and Navy Beach on this dude. Technically they can step in the water but I wouldn't recommend it as they might drink the water which is hella salty. Beautiful formations. Nice stroll out to the formations. Lots of sea bugs.

fishing
1 month ago

Beautiful scenery! Great fishing. Very modest hike

Super unique stop right off the 395. I would definitely rate this as easy - very flat and short and you arrive at the shore right away. This is a great place to visit with people of all ages and hiking abilities!

1 month ago

Really 4+ Fun “recovery” hike. Lakes, flowers (for August), few people, and a ghost town. Make sure to visit the Shell Lake above the mines.

Amazing views. Alone the whole time. Beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

Mountain scenery, flowers, lakes, a mine, and a ghost town: this hike has everything you need in a short hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike with my fiancé and his 71 yr old mom. All 3 of is loved it. Easy hike and extraordinary views. We made it to one lake and would’ve loved to keep going but had gotten started a little too late in the day so turned around. Mostly shady and follows a beautiful creek.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful scenery at every turn! The 1st half on the way to the peak is easy. Climbing to the peak builds the heart rate but the views from the top on both sides are spectacular and I feel like it would be ok to turn around from there if you were looking for a shorter hike. The decent from the peak is a little tricky as the trail is shale and switchbacks and sometimes the trail is lost with snow cover, but there was a crew of three men working on digging the snow away from the trail in a few places. The hardest part is knowing you have to climb back up the peak from the summit.

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty straight forward hike down towards the water's edge to look at the tufa towers. Flies are everywhere, but they stay low and don't bother people. If you are going to make one quick stop at Mono Lake, this is probably it.

hiking
3 months ago

There were still some patches of snow on June 15, but a beautiful hike! You pass many lakes, and have to cross some sections of creek by stepping on rocks. Definitely recommend!

It is a nice short walk to see tufa and mono lake. very unique. even it is very short, but if you want to be there for a while and take pics, do not forget bring water.

easy and amazing

hiking
4 months ago

Walk down from the Visitor Center via paved paths to a closer view of Mono Lake. The VC is very interesting and worth a stop. Drive out to the east side for some up close and personal interaction with the tufas.

hiking
4 months ago

Quick stop and boardwalk to the edge of Mono Lake north from the Visitor Center. Lots of birds.

hiking
5 months ago

This was fun for my children because there was not only obsidian, but there were huge chunks of pumice that they could lift because it is so light.

Walked on a lot of stinky sand. Lots of flies. Couldn’t see any huge tufas you have to be on a boat for those.

5 generations of my family make this place a regular vacation spot. The hiking, the spectacular views and fishing are all amazing. This place is a hidden gem.

hiking
11 months ago

Unearthly and a must visit Eastern Sierra spot.

hiking
11 months ago

Great Eastern Sierra hike!

hiking
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

This is one of the best alpine hikes I've ever been on. There are at least 8 very nice lakes, several interesting rocks with glacial markings, snowfields, and a miniature glacier near the top that calves into a lake (at least during high snow years like 2016-2017). Furthermore, many hikes in the Sierras and elsewhere build up to a summit. This hike, though, is short enough that you can go past the first summit to see many other cool features, even if you are just doing a dayhike!

While many hikes have one or two of these features, this one has all of them and is not that crowded.

on Virginia Lakes Trail

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

great trail!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Easy trail to see unique features. Pretty around sunset.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

We did just the 0.9mi out and back trail near the crater as the sun was setting. Couldn't really see the crater very well.

Friday, August 18, 2017

easy trail... lots of geology... obsidian and pumice

Load More