Lee Vining Creek
|Lee Vining Creek|
Lee Vining Creek delta from the air
|- left||Warren Fork|
|- right||Mine Creek|
|- location||Sierra Nevada|
|- elevation||10,617 ft (3,236 m)|
|- location||1 mi (1.6 km) north of Lee Vining|
|- elevation||6,378 ft (1,944 m)|
|Length||16 mi (26 km), west-east|
|Basin||36 sq mi (93 km2)|
|Discharge||for Lee Vining, CA|
|- average||65.4 cu ft/s (2 m3/s) |
|- max||590 cu ft/s (17 m3/s)|
|- min||8.67 cu ft/s (0 m3/s)|
Lee Vining Creek is a 16.2-mile-long (26.1 km) stream in Mono County, California, flowing into the endorheic basin of Mono Lake. It is the second largest stream flowing into the lake, after Rush Creek.
The stream rises near Tioga Pass in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, more than 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above sea level. It flows generally east, and is briefly impounded at Ellery Lake before dropping into a huge canyon known as Lee Vining Canyon. From there, it flows eastwards out of the mountains past the small town of Lee Vining. The creek terminates at a small sandy delta on the western shore of Mono Lake.
A portion of the creek is diverted into the Second Los Angeles Aqueduct near Lee Vining to provide water to metropolitan Southern California. The diversion of Lee Vining Creek and other streams such as Rush Creek and Mill Creek has led to a severe reduction in streamflow and a drop in lake level, damaging the fragile ecosystem of the lake.
- U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed March 17, 2011