Harvey Monroe Hall Natural Area, California

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Hall Natural Area

The Hall Natural Area, one of the country’s first established Research Natural Areas, is home to dynamic environmental research and beautiful alpine scenery. Read More

  • The Hall Natural Area is located in the Inyo National Forest about 35 miles from Mammoth Lakes. 
  • Hike on the area's rugged backcountry trails.
  • Attempt a climb on Mount Conness, the highest peak in the Sierra’s north of Tioga Pass.


Harvey Monroe Hall Natural Area is a federally administered Research Natural Area located in California’s Inyo National Forest, on the eastern border of Yosemite National Park. The region is approximately four miles long, 2.75 miles wide, and includes 3,883 acres of wilderness.

The region's Research Natural Area program was established to provide protection for a network of federal lands that would be used primarily for research, baseline ecological information, and the maintenance of biological diversity.

Location & Information

The region is located in the Inyo National Forest and is adjacent to the eastern border of Yosemite. As the area is kept purposefully remote, access is limited. Your best bet is to approach the area from Saddlebag Lake.

From Mammoth Lakes take US-395 north for 25 miles, and then turn left onto CA-120. Continue west on this road for 10 miles, then turn right onto Saddlebag Lake Road.

While the area is open year round, winter snows create road closures that limit access.

Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
West Annex Building
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 559-6300


Mount Conness
As the highest peak in the Sierra Nevada north of Tioga Pass, Mount Conness is apopular destination for climbers. The mountain boasts a non-technical class 2 approach from its eastern side. Consider hiring a guide service to ensure a successful summit.

While there are opportunities for hiking in the park, trails are unmarked and generally poorly maintained. Basic route finding and compass skills are a necessity for wilderness travel in the region.

Camping is not allowed in the Hall Natural Area. 

Fun Facts

  • The Hall Natural Area was one of the nation’s first Research Natural Areas, established in 1933. 
  • The park has been used to study the social organization of ground squirrels, dynamics of wind-blown detritus in snow banks, and community structuring of subalpine forest birds.