June Lake Loop


What? : Scenic, winding road running through mountains and around three lakes. The 16 mile road (hwy 158, off 395 hwy) will take you into an alpine valley that has 4 large lakes, perfect for summer vacation or day hiking and exploration. At winter you can enjoy the small June Mountain Ski Area.


Where? : June Lake Loop on hwy 158 is a side road south of Lee Vining on hwy 395 on your way to Mammoth lake.

Google Map Link


When? : Lake activity at summer and small ski area at winter. At fall the aspen leaves paint the lower hillsides and lakes shorelines with yellow and gold colors.


Due note 1: At summer, the lakes and the loop can be overcrowded, do not expect to have a secluded visit here.


Due note 2: I did not have the time to do any hiking in this area so I can’t provide any information on that.


My thoughts: I visit here at mid-summer day and I did not like the amount of people and traffic in this place. The scenery is very nice, blue lakes and huge mountain cliffs but everything was over packed with traffic and people.


The visit:

During the summer this is very crowded place to be, lake beaches and parking lots are full, and you have a lot of traffic. There are several beautiful lakes along the road, an option for a fun day out on the beautiful beaches.

There are also hiking trails towards the alpine lakes up the surrounding mountain cliffs.


The lakes:

June Lake:

The second lake in size, 1 mile long, ½ mile wide) but the most popular is June Lake.

At the northeast end is a swimming beach, popular in the Summer months, large marina on the east south side near town. There are campgrounds and RV parks surrounding the lake.


Gull Lake:

This is the smallest lake; it has small marina.

Both June Lake and Gull Lake are located near the town, proximity for local accommodation.


Silver lake:

The lake is nestled between the mountains and I found it to be the preferred lake out of the 4 lakes in this drive.

My recommended place for a short picnic stops or to enjoy some lake activity is at Silver lake.

If you are coming from June Lake 9 recommend to park at the firs large parking lot on your right side. There are paths among the trees that will take you to the nearby lake shore. This section of the lake is relatively shallow and is popular for relaxing on the grassy beach, kayaking, and fishing.

At the north side of the lake there is a resort and large RV park, the trailhead to the alpine lakes Gem Lake up in the mountain start from there.


Grant lake:

The largest lake and the less crowded.

This lake is located outside the mountain section of the loop and the scenery is changing from Alpine pine forest nested in the mountain to the open eastern sierra desert.

This lake is mainly use for boats, Grant Lake Marina and RV park.

I think this is under BLM land so you can camp here for the night without any fee.