|Length||3.8 miles round trip|
|+650, 650 round trip|
|Season||Late December through early March|
|USGS Topo||7.5' series, Lee Vining, Mount Dana|
|Start||Lee Vining Ranger Station on Highway 120 West, 1.3 miles west of Highway 395.|
This tour leads to a 160 acre bird and animal sanctuary. The land, originally homesteaded in 1887, passed through several hands and is now owned by the Burger family who have strived to make it an oasis for birds and animals. While the wildlife is plentiful from May through October, most migrate when winter comes, and you are left with the delightful, secluded meadow and aspen grove.
Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 0.6
Elevation change: +350
From the trailhead (1), zig-zag on Forest Service Road 1N03, the road to Log Cabin Mine and Log Cabin Wilderness Camp, which is located on the north side of Highway 120 opposite the entrance to the ranger station, for 0.6 mile until you reach a road junction (2). The road ascends a slope with a southern exposure and during average winters, when the slopes appear bare, the road, with the exception of the first few tenths of a mile, should have sufficient snow cover on which to ski.
At the road junction, the gated fork that leads northeast (straight) is 1N03 and is part of the Mono Lake Overlook tour. The sanctuary tour continues on the fork to the west (left).
Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 0.6 - 1.6
Elevation change: +250
Turn west (left) and follow the road for 1.0 mile until you reach the point where the road turns north (right) (3). In this section the road will crest. From the crest the view includes the rim of the Mt. Dana Plateau, Mt. Gibbs and other peaks to the south, Mono Craters, and the south end of Mono Lake. Also, as you ski along the road through the sanctuary, you will see signs such as Owl Roost, Bunny Briar, Robin Grove, and Deer Glen along the way.
Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 1.6 - 1.9
Elevation change: +50
Ski through an aspen grove as you continue north on the road for 0.3 mile until you reach Burger's Sierra Retreat (4) where several buildings are located. Please respect their property rights and do not disturb anything. On the side of the road opposite the main buildings, you will find a group of signs which list the fauna and flora found here during the spring, summer, and fall.
Although the retreat is the end of this tour, the road, which narrows, continues to climb north, sometimes at a very steep angle, to a high point near Log Cabin Mine. If you are interested in reaching the high point near the mine, refer to the Mono Lake Overlook tour which describes a better route.
Return to trailhead
Miles: 1.9 - 3.8
Elevation change: -650
Retrace the route for 1.9 miles back to the trailhead (1).