No place is more dear to my heart than the Eastern Sierra. Like many places in the desert, what seems harsh and inhospitable from a distance, gives way to lush canyons and tumbling creeks on closer inspection. Lee Vining Canyon is such a place. The canyon is the main route into the Tuolumne section of Yosemite National Park, but for the most part, the road completely avoids it by skirting to the north side. This place is a masterpiece of glacial design, filled with shimmering Aspens and bordered by craggy alpine peaks.