Lee Vining Creek: H.M. Hall Natural Area


Just over three miles NNW of Tioga Pass and half a mile southwest of Saddlebag Lake, a branch of Lee Vining Creek descends from a broad basin heading on the Sierra crest.

Wikipedia describes the Natural Area in general. Click the picture on the right in Wikipedia for an enlarged view of the basin, which is the central part of the reserve.

After a moderate rise through forest, the trail from the Sawmill Campground enters a long, broad meadow. The broad valley rises to the alpine heights of the crest and 12,590-foot Mt. Conness. To the south, a hidden basin filled with small lakes leads to the lakes and meadows of the head of Mine Creek, flowing south parallel to Lee Vining Creek.

The meadow is lush with grass and other meadow plants, with willows near the stream. The variety of lush meadow and forest in the valley and alpine environments on the heights gives researchers and students a wonderful, unspoiled area to learn and do research. We can all thank the foresight of the Forest Service for setting this and other areas across the U.S. apart for special protection.



About David McCoard

After earning my MS in geology I've done various things including managing the ski touring program at a small lodge in the Sierra. In 2010 I retired from Contra Costa College in California. I've always been fascinated by the mountains and nature and have spent countless days hiking, backpacking, climbing and skiing in the Sierra. The spiritual insights I've learned there have set the course for my life. Now I have time to share them and strike up a conversation.
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