Spend time bonding with your kids in June Lake, a tiny resort community tucked into California’s eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. If you’re visiting in the winter, enjoy active days of skiing and snowshoeing. In the summer, dip into the lake’s cool waters and hike the surrounding peaks. With its beautiful natural setting and relaxed vibe, June Lake is the perfect spot to unplug. As you research June Lake vacation rentals and start planning your itinerary, consider these family-friendly activities.
1. Go Skiing
Experience June Lake’s most popular outdoor activities at June Mountain, a ski and snowboard resort that sits just minutes away. This compact mountain features excellent snow conditions, stunning mountain views, and an easy-to-navigate layout. More than 80 percent of the mountain’s terrain is safe for beginners, so it’s a great place to visit with beginning skiers. If you need a refresher, take advantage of the resort’s lesson program. Best of all, kids 12 and under ski free every day of the year.
2. Test the Waters
When the temperatures rise, take a dip in June Lake with your kids to cool off. The June Lake swimming beach, which is located on the eastern side of the lake near the Oh! Ridge Campground and Pine Cliff Resort, offers shallow water, plenty of parking, and bathrooms. Other facilities are limited, so it’s a good idea to bring along some beach chairs and snacks. The water stays cool year-round, making this a refreshing activity on a hot summer day.
3. Go Fishing
When the waters of June Lake are too cold for swimming, fishing is a fun alternative. Teach your kids to cast from any public access spot. Local anglers like the shoreline near the swimming beach, and you can also try your luck in the small coves near the June Lake Marina. On the other side of the lake, set up camp along the steep wall for undisturbed casting. If your kids can avoid snags, walk over to the western shores for shallow-water fishing in the reeds.
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4. Rent a Boat
Rent a watercraft from one of the two local marinas, and join the June Lake boating community. The June Lake Marina offers small motorized boats and pontoon boats that accommodate families of all sizes. For a wider choice, head to the Big Rock Resort Marina to find flat-bottomed craft boats and larger motorboats. If you want a more active tour of the lake, rent kayaks for the whole family, and tour the many small coves and inlets. When June Lake is crowded, head to the marina at nearby Gull Lake, which also rents canoes, kayaks, and other boats.
5. Drive the June Lake Loop
Explore the spectacular mountain scenery without tiring your kids with a drive through June Lake Loop. This lovely road takes you past craggy mountain peaks, shimmering lakes, and spectacular viewpoints. Plan a full afternoon for the drive, so you can stop for photos or to explore interesting areas. To navigate the loop, head east west from June Lake on Highway 158, then, take Highway 395 to the other end of 158.
6. Explore the Mountains On Foot
Lace up your hiking boots, and explore one of June Lake’s well-maintained trails. If your kids are new to hiking, head for the Parker Lake Trail on the north end of the June Lake Loop. This easy, mostly flat trail runs along Parker Creek. After 2 miles, the trail stops at the spectacular Parker Lake, where you can fish, swim, and picnic. Another easy option is the 20 Lakes Basin Trail, which lies about 25 miles north of June Lake. Accommodate experienced hikers with a day trip along the challenging and beautiful Fern Lake Trail.
7. Photograph the Fall Colors
June Lake is a popular tourist destination in the fall when the leaves change and the mountainsides burst into color. From the June Lake village, the easiest spot for color-viewing is Gull Lake. Pick any spot on the shores of this small lake to see the brilliant yellow aspen trees. Keep your kids entertained while you search for the perfect shot with a boat trip on Silver Lake, which sits just a few miles away. Kids can fish while you marvel at the aspen-lined cliffs. Alternatively, enjoy a hike on the walking path that winds around the lake.
8. Visit a Ghost Town
If you want to get out of town for a day, head to Bodie State Historic Park, which lies about an hour from June Lake. Wander through the town’s abandoned buildings, and speculate about the ghosts that supposedly haunt the park. Some of the most fascinating things in the town are its residential rooms, which look exactly as they did when the former inhabitants left. Kids can also check out vintage cars and climb around the surrounding hills. If your family is feeling brave, visit the town after dark during a Ghost Walk evening.
9. Soak in Natural Hot Springs
Soothe your muscles after a day of hiking in one of the natural hot springs near June Lake. Drive up to Bridgeport to try the three warm pools at the Travertine hot springs, which sits just off of Jack Sawyer Road near Highway 395. A closer option is Wild Willy’s near the Mammoth Airport. Follow the boardwalk to the end for the best soaking opportunities.
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