Are you planning to visit June Lake? June Lake is a haven for lovers of the outdoors and nature. It offers a variety of activities, exciting photo opportunities and a quiet, relaxed atmosphere that forces you to take a deep breath and relax.
June Lake is a resort town in eastern California, a few miles north of Mammoth Lakes and a few miles south of Mono Lake and Lee Vining. The horseshoe-shaped canyon will enchant you with its beauty. It’s a nice stop on route 395.
Known as the Switzerland of California, Juneau Lake is famous for its four sparkling alpine lakes at the base of the towering Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is a destination for all seasons, although this guide is more focused on visits from spring to fall.
If you’re planning to visit this scenic area of California, read on for the best things to do by the lake in June, as well as our suggestions for lodging and dining.
Recreational activities in Juniper
June Lake Loop Scenic Movement
If you do nothing else on June Lake, you should at least hike the scenic June Lake Loop. It’s about 16 miles from Highway 395, the main road through the Eastern Sierra, and can be done in less than an hour if you limit your photo stops.
Of course, if you have the time, you can also take a more leisurely drive with lots of stops so you can enjoy the scenery even more, take millions of photos and even do some activities along the way.
The scenery along the June Lake Loop is some of the most beautiful in the region, no matter the season. Four beautiful mountain lakes – June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake and Grant Lake – are the anchor point of the trail, but the surrounding mountains and meadows and Rush Creek also add to the beauty of the loop. The lakes here are some of the most beautiful in California!
That’s good to hear: The June Lake Loop is partially closed in winter and early spring in the event of snow accumulation. So if you come during that time, make sure it’s open on the day you want to run it.
Swimming, bathing or sunbathing by the lake of June
June Lake has a beautiful, partially sandy beach on the east side, with a walkable path to the water. Picturesque boulders, some of them large, add cachet to the landscape, and Carson Peak provides a majestic backdrop to the blue waters of the lake.
During the warmer months, you can enjoy a variety of beach activities at June Lake Beach. Swim in the crystal clear water, enjoy the sun, picnic, take or rent a buoy to relax on the water.
You can also kayak, canoe or stand-up paddle on June Lake Beach. Equipment can be rented at June Lake Beach during the season.
Enjoy a walk on the beach during the cooler spring and fall months. It’s a peaceful walk along the water, and you can watch the waterfowl galloping in the waves or dozing on the shore. Can you imagine a more relaxing scene?
You can take a boat ride on one of the four lakes that make up the June Lake Loop. There are two marinas on June Lake and one on Gull, Silver and Grant Lakes.
If you bring your own boat, you can launch it at one of the marinas, but there are also a variety of boats for hire, from pedal boats to flat-bottomed motor boats and pontoons. Some are even in the shade!
Motorboats are usually rented for a half or full day, and we found the prices reasonable. Advance booking is recommended.
If you like adrenaline-pumping water sports, head to Grant Lake, the largest of the four lakes in the June Lake Loop. You can also enjoy water sports on June Lake.
On Grant Lake, the speed limit will be increased to 10 mph. Then you can wakeboard, wakesurf, kneeboard and water ski. Jet ski and boat rentals are available at the marina.
Boat trips to Grant Lake are available until 10am, but the speed limit is 10mph.
The Eastern Sierra is a huge fishing area, and June Lake is no different. Four lakes are particularly well known for trout: Rainbow trout, large brown trout, cutthroat trout, brown trout and alpine trout.
You can also fish Rush Creek, especially where it enters or exits the lakes, Reverse Creek or other small creeks in the area or the lakes in the hills around June Lake Loop.
On the lakes you can fish from the shore or from a boat or go tubing. We saw all three species of fish during our visit! Local outfitters supply equipment and arrange tours.
On the shores of June Lake, which is just down the road, are small, quiet creeks that are ideal for fishing. The marinas are also popular fishing spots, as is the shore of Silver Lake near the parking lot and resort.
That’s good to hear: Here you will find the latest California freshwater fish regulations and other relevant information.
Enjoy a day trip to June Lake
There are numerous hiking trails of varying length and difficulty on and around Lake June. Below, we’ve listed some of our favorite June hikes on the lake.
Walk around Gull Lake
If you’re looking for a relatively flat and easy nature trail, the 3-mile loop around Gull Lake is perfect. The trailhead is on Granite Avenue next to the June Lake-Mono County Library, where you can pick up a brochure.
Sure, you’ll have a beautiful view of the lake, but you’ll likely see wildflowers in the meadows in the spring and beautiful leafy colors of the aspens in the fall. Dogs on leash are allowed on this trail.
Walk to Parker Lake
Perhaps the most popular day hike to June Lake, the easy hike to Parker Lake is about 4 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of about 650 feet. The trail enters Parker Lake Road on the north side of June Lake Loop Road.
In the spring and early summer, the section of trail beyond Parker Creek is full of wildflowers. In autumn the aspens turn bright yellow. The scenery here is pretty spectacular, but Parker Lake at the base of Parker Peak is just as spectacular, if not more so.
Walk to Agnew Lake and Jema Lake
Rush Creek Trail is at Silver Lake. The round trip is about 7.25 miles if you walk a bit along the edge of Gemm Lake, and is considered a challenging route, with over 2,000 feet of elevation gain.
Along the way you will have a beautiful view of the Chwoszcz waterfall, which is powerful in early summer. Agnew Lake has artwork that partially mar the landscape, but Gem Lake is beautiful and serene.
That’s good to hear: This trail is also used as a pack trail, so you may encounter people on horseback (or horse poop!) along the way.
Walk to the boating lake
Fern Lake Trail is located at Double Eagle Resort. The path is nominally difficult: It is a very steep climb. The length is approximately 3.4 miles in both directions.
The Fern Lake Trail offers great bird’s eye views of June, Gull and Silver lakes, as well as a waterfall along the way. It is a picturesque place, with wildflowers in spring and early summer and beautiful foliage in autumn.
The Rush Creek Trail, which leads to Lake Agnew and Gem Lake near Silver Lake, continues along the John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail in the Ansel Adams Wilderness.
So, if you are planning to spend a few days at the lake in June and you love backpacking, you have several options! You can hike to and from Waugh Lake and Thousand Island Lake, or hike the Jam Waugh Lake and Clark Lake loop trail.
That’s good to hear: A permit is required for hiking in the Eastern Sierra. If you want to include a night hike in your June Lake itinerary, make sure to sign up in advance.
Coached horse riding
Do you like horse riding? The Frontier Pack Train offers a wide variety of tours from the June Lake Pack Station, ranging from one-hour trips to half-day and full-day excursions and multi-day group outings.
Guided hikes are usually offered in summer and there are hikes for all levels. The short walks through beautiful meadows and woods are suitable for beginners and young children alike.
During the day, follow the Rush Creek Trail to Agnew and Gemm Lakes, and explore the Ansel Adams Wilderness on longer hikes. Book your excursions in advance.
Climb Mton the June Mountain Railway.
June Ski Resort is a popular ski resort in winter, but you can also use the chairlift to reach the top of the mountain in summer! The views from the top are great, and there are hiking trails you can explore at the top.
Chair J1 takes you to the June Meadows Chalet, where you can have breakfast or lunch with a view at the June Meadows Café or enjoy a cold drink at the Antlers Bar. Both sites have outdoor seating with spectacular mountain views.
Enjoy fall flowers and spring wildflowers by the lake atJune.
June Lake is one of the best places in the Gold Country to see the beautiful colors nature offers in spring and fall.
In the fall, the June Lake Loop is cloaked in yellow, orange, red and burgundy. Combine the beautiful autumn colours with the sparkling blue or green waters of the lake and the fresh air, and you have the perfect place for a nature holiday.
The colors fall in June. The lake usually reaches its peak in early to mid-October. If you plan to visit June Lake in the fall and want to be close to the peak, read the fall color report for June Lake and other nearby areas with fall colors here.
Spring begins in late June due to the lake’s high elevation (7,600 feet above sea level), but you will see many wildflowers in late May, June and early July, especially in good bloom years.
You are likely to find lupine, Indian tassel, mariposa lilies, scarlet roses and many other species of wildflowers from the Eastern Sierra. The Parker Lake Trail, especially around Parker Creek, is a great place to hunt wildflowers.
June Lake is home to a wide variety of birds, both native and migratory. Walking along the trails is the best way to see shorebirds up close, while the shores of the lake offer the opportunity to see both waterfowl and shorebirds in the surrounding vegetation.
If you are lucky, you may see a bald eagle on June Lake. In winter they are more likely to be found at other times of the year. Ospreys catching trout and golden eagles are other birds of prey you can see here.
Look out for gulls, mallards, great sawbills and herons in the water and Steller’s jays, mountain chickens and robins on land. Don’t forget to bring binoculars when you go to June Lake!
Observation of wild animals
Mule deer and small animals such as marmots are the animals you will see most during the day. But June Lake is also home to larger animals, such as black bears (which can also be brown or tan), mountain lions and coyotes.
Be mindful of the roads and trails, and know how to safely observe wildlife. Never approach or feed wild animals, large or small.
Discover what the glaciers have left behind at June Lake!
June Lake has a fascinating geological history. June Lake’s horseshoe-shaped canyon was formed by glacial activity during the last ice age, and the moving glaciers left large boulders and rocks in their path.
Balanced Rock, or Persian Boulder, is located near the June Lake fire station. The teetering rock, 18 feet high, is exactly where the forces of nature left it years ago.
When the glacier that formed June Lake retreated, it left behind a lot of moraine debris in the Oh Ridge area. A large boulder can be photographed along the shoreline in June, as can a number of smaller boulders scattered along the shoreline.
Enjoy a relaxing spa treatment
June Lake is a small community, but if you’re looking for some pampering after a day on the trails (or on the slopes in the winter), the spa at Double Eagle Resort in June Lake is the place to be.
You can enjoy deep tissue massages, hot stone treatments, aromatherapy and relaxing deep baths. Try the Luk Pra massage from Thailand for gentle and deep relaxation.
You can book a package to save on accommodation and spa treatments, but you can also enjoy the spa if you don’t plan to stay at the resort.
More information about your local store
June Lake has a colorful history and legends, and we weren’t sure which grain of salt to take with one story or the other, but it is said to be haunted, and people have seen yellow figures walking in the water to the sound of chanting.
We stayed three nights in June Lake and unfortunately did not see a single ghost.
A local legend with teeth is the story of slot machines. June Lake Loop Road, at the southern end of which is the June Lake Overlook, has a historical marker describing its history. The legend is funny, and the view is beautiful!
In the 1930s, local bars and businesses established slot machines near June Lake, which thrived because workers for the Mono Lake Basin Project lived nearby.
After the workers left, the slot machines weren’t used as much and most were voluntarily discarded. The last remaining specimens were reportedly dumped into the waters of June Lake on the eve of the raid by IRS officials and may contain a small fortune, as they were not emptied before being discarded.
To date, no slots have been recovered from June Lake!
Things to do near the lakeJune
June Lake is not only a scenic spot, but also a great starting point for trips north and south of the Sierra.
Southern Lake SurveyJune
South of June Lake is the large resort town of Mammoth Lakes, known for the lakes that make up the Mammoth Lakes Basin and the high mountain peaks that can be seen from all over town.
If you go when it’s open, be sure to visit Devils Postpile National Monument in the Red Meadows area of Mammoth Lakes. Some of the natural basalt columns are more than 18 metres high! You can also hike to Rainbow Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in California.
About an hour south is Bishop, home to some of the most sought after boulders in the world. Here you can also explore beautiful Bishop Creek Canyon (an autumnal spectacle) and see the world’s oldest trees in the ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest.
An hour further south lies the charming town of Lone Pine. You can climb the highest peak in the 48 states on the Whitney Portal Road. The Alabama Hills National Scenic Area has beautiful rock formations and natural arches.
Northern Lake SurveysJune
Just north of June Lake you can visit the unique Mono Lake, a saltwater lake where millions of brine shrimp live. The shrimp provide food for the large number of birds present in Mono Lake, especially during migration. The lake is also known for its Mono Lake tuff towers, which are popular with photographers.
In the summer and fall, Lee Vining can be reached via the Tioga Road, which runs through Yosemite National Park. The scenic route offers views of granite domes, alpine lakes and meadows, and the legendary national park, which is hardly overpopulated.
A little further north, you can enjoy the view of Mt. Conway, the highest point along U.S. Highway 395. Virginia Lakes Road leads to numerous hiking trails to alpine lakes, and the road itself is scenic.
Historic Body State Park is a town preserved in a state of arrested decay. This is one of the most interesting state parks in California, and the terrain offers fantastic photo opportunities.
Journey to Lake June, California
The Mammoth Yosemite Regional Airport is located a few miles south of June Lake. Flights to this airport are generally limited and some are seasonal and only operated in winter. Fresno and Reno have larger airports, with more options for flights and car rentals.
Most visitors to June Lake come by car. June Lake is located on U.S. Highway 395, a major thoroughfare in the Eastern Sierra. It’s a very scenic road, whether you’re coming from the south or the north.
The distance between Los Angeles and June Lake is about 323 miles by road, or about 5.5 hours in normal traffic. From Lake San Diego to June is about 410 miles, or about 7 hours.
The drive from San Francisco to Lake June via I-80 East and U.S. 395 South takes about 5.5 hours. In the summer and fall, when Tioga Pass Road is open, you can save time by using Tioga Pass Road to connect to US Route 395.
If you want to explore the area, you will need your own transport. The sedan is ideal for a lake in June, but if you plan on doing backcountry activities (which are very rewarding in the fall!), consider renting a 4×4 for your trip.
Want to rent a car for your trip to Lake June SA? Discover Cars allows you to compare the availability and prices of many major car rental companies. Choose the machine that best suits your needs!
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Where to stay in June Lake, CA
Hotels in June Lake, CA
Located in the foothills of the mountain range, the Double Eagle Resort and Spa offers spacious rooms, some with lake views, and private two-bedroom cabins and a guest house if traveling with a group. There is a full-service restaurant and a spa on site. Book your stay here!
Lake Front Cabins is a boutique hotel located on the shores of June Lake. There are 10 units ranging in size from studios to two bedroom apartments. The hotel is within walking distance of the shops and restaurants of June Lake Village. Book your stay here!
Hotel Heidelberg offers comfortable rooms with a kitchenette. A hot tub is available, and June Lake Village offers shops and restaurants. It offers free parking and free Wi-Fi. Book your stay here!
Vacation rentals in June Lake, CA
This charming log cabin is the perfect retreat for couples on June Lake. The room has a fully equipped kitchen, a double bed and a beautiful mountain view. Located a few minutes’ drive from the village of June Lake, the lodge features a wood burning stove and a balcony. Book your stay here!
This lovely family cottage can accommodate up to 10 people. The house has 3 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms, with extra beds in the game room. The master suite on the top floor has an office. The views are beautiful and the location is just a few miles from June Lake Village. Book your stay here!
Where to eat in June Lake, CA?
Eagle’s Landing Restaurant, located at the Double Eagle Resort and Spa, offers dining with a view. In the summer you can sit on the terrace! The restaurant serves American dishes with some international flavors. The burgers are excellent, as are the fish tacos.
Ohanas 395 offers Hawaiian soul food. Try it when you’re in June Lake. We enjoyed the Kaunas tacos and fries with cheese, salad and barbecue sauce.
The Tiger Bar & Cafe is a historic lounge and snack bar. Their Tiger Burger is well known, but for dinner they have an extensive breakfast menu, great sandwiches and several entrees. Here we bought sandwiches for the picnic.
Elevator was our coffee shop when we lived in June Lake. They also have baked goods!
The Silver Lake Cafe is a must for breakfast. The homemade breakfast is so hearty you’ll be full for hours! They serve a variety of omelets, pancakes and biscuits with gravy. They also serve lunch.
Best time to visit June Lake, CA
June Lake is open year round and the best time to visit depends entirely on what you have to do in and around June.
Fall would be our best choice to visit June Lake, simply because it is so picturesque when the colors are at or near their peak. If you love landscape photography or want to relax in nature outside of the busy season, autumn is a must.
The lakes are very active during the summer, when the water is warm enough to swim, and you can enjoy a wide range of water sports. In late spring and early summer you will see many wild flowers. The days are long and you can take long walks.
If you want to ski or enjoy winter sports, June Mountain Resort is considered a family-friendly alternative to Mammoth Lakes and Lake Tahoe. The June Lake Loop Road is partially closed in winter and early spring, and you can snowshoe there.
That’s good to hear: June Lake is in the mountains, and early spring and late fall can bring snow and cold temperatures. Always pack multiple layers of clothing and be prepared for drastic weather changes!