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2020

Lower Lee Vining Campground

nearest town: Lee Vining CA

part of: Inyo National Forest

A Forest Service Campground in the US 395 region.

Number of visits: 3

GPS: 37.9275,-119.1537

Bathroom: pit • Water: no

In the style of Inyo Forest campgrounds(*), this one is hard to find(**) and kind of shabby and rough, but it's in a really beautiful location.

This one is on Lee Vining Creek, in the aspen/pine forest on top of the glacial till. It's the first campground on CA 120 west of Mono Lake heading up to spectacular Tioga Pass.

It's pretty cool. It's very popular with fishermen.

(*) Except the Inyo campgrounds around June Lake/Mammoth. They are run by a concessionare. They are a little nicer, cost twice as much, and have three times as many rules.

(**) There is an arrow for "camping", but you must turn off the road to see the "Lower Lee Vining"sign.

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Notes on each visit (posted cost • senior cost):

October 19, 2020 ($14.00 • $7.00) October 19, 2020 ($14.00 • $7.00)

Rolled in around 5:30, but still had my pick of the spots because it's Monday night!

Site 12 still looks the best to me.

Planned to be at Silver Lake tonight, but the air is terrible down there.

October 17, 2020 ($14.00 • $7.00) October 17, 2020 ($14.00 • $7.00)

Rolled in at 2:30, so I had my pick of the spots even though it's a busy Saturday night. There's a main area, almost a plaza, with a row of nice sites (13, 12, 11, 10) on the river side.

Site 13 is the most private, but tonight there's a busy-looking RV next to it, and I like the look of 12 better. So here I am!

I should note that the creek is much farther away than you'd think from these sites. It's much closer to the sites on the labyrinthine web of roads off the plaza.

October 13, 2015 ($14.00 • $7.00) October 13, 2015 ($14.00 • $7.00)

A sense of closure! I tried to stay here three nights ago and it was full beyond capacity.

Maybe it's the time of year or my mood, but I am preferring the sites with space around them to the cozy tucked away sites. #9 is at the far western edge of the roundabout where the bathroom is. I can hear the creek and could see it when the leaves fall, and I have lots of sky and pine trees and yellow aspens.