The town of June Lake lies at the eastern base of the Sierras, just off Highway 395, on the June Lake Loop. It's one of the larger towns in the area, a good place to stay if you want to fish (the area's most popular activity) or to base a tour of Mono Basin attractions.
June Lake Preview: See It Now: Photo Tour
Why Should You Vacation at June Lake?If you're planning a June Lake vacation, it's smaller than nearby Mammoth Lakes and has a nice, small-town feel.
- Fishermen will enjoy angling in June Lake, Silver Lake, Gull Lake and Grant Lake. The annual Monster Trout contest, held in April is a good chance to try your skills. Trophy-sized rainbow, German brown, and cutthroat trout are the most common catch.
- The lakes are also a good place for boating and kayaking.
- Photographers flock to June Lake in the fall for the foliage, a blaze of aspen gold which usually peaks in early October.
- June Mountain is the local ski resort, with 35 trails and 7 lifts.
Things to Do at June Lake
Where to Stay at June Lake
You'll find some nice hotel options in June Lake including the luxurious Double Eagle Resort and family-owned Boulder Lodge right on the lake's shore, but you can also stay in other area towns and still enjoy the lake. Many hotels are full of "leaf lookers" in early October, so reserve ahead if you can.
Where to Eat Around June Lake
You'll find several restaurants in town, providing basic meals at reasonable prices. The restaurant at Convict Lake Resort is said to be one of the best east of the Sierras, albeit a bit pricey. For a more fun time and some of the best meals anywhere, join the other travelers in the know who flock to Whoa Nellie Deli at Tioga Gas Mart (at the intersection of Hwy 395 and Hwy 140 in Lee Vining).
Events at June Lake
Besides the annual Monster Trout contest and the fall color, June Lake hosts a triathlon and Jazz Festival in July.
Best Time to Go to June Lake
The best time for a June Lake vacation depends on your interests. Anglers should plan their visit during fishing season. If you're a leaf peeper looking for fall color, early October is your best bet, although the leaves may peak earlier or later in any given year.
If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, it's hard (but not impossible) to get to June Lake in winter when the Tioga and Sonora passes are closed. Check the road conditions by entering 120 (Tioga Pass) or 108 (Sonora Pass) at the CalTrans website or call 800-427-7623 or 916-445-7623. If they're closed, take I-80 east directly to US 395, or take CA 89 south around Lake Tahoe to 395.