June Lake, California, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - West - California - High Sierra -

With Yosemite to the west, Kings Canyon to the south, Lake Tahoe to the north and Nevada to the east, there is no place to vacation like June Lake. Located in California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, June Lake borders the unincorporated resort community of June Lake Village. The village and four lakes are found along June Lake Loop. The loop is actually California State Route 158 which leaves U.S. Highway 395, loops 16 miles around a canyon and returns to Highway 395. Within the 16 miles you will find endless winter and summer activities. If you enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice climbing, fishing, camping, hiking, boating, bicycling or birdwatching, June Lake Loop is waiting for you.

Originally inhabited by Paiute and Shoshone Native Americans, the June Lake area remained fairly isolated until road and rail construction started in the early 1900s. The initial attraction to June Lake Loop was not California’s gold or silver, but hydropower. The construction of the first power house was completed west of June Lake in 1916. Soon afterward small fishing camps and resorts began to appear. By 1940 ski lifts and resorts began to appear, and June Lake flourished. In today’s competitive tourism market June Lake continues to provide a small assortment of cabins, lodges, resorts, vacation rentals and real estate properties while maintaining its quiet rural lifestyle. Follow Highway 395 south of June Lake, and in ten miles you will enter the ski resort community of Mammoth Lakes.

If you turn south off Highway 395 at North June Lake Junction, you will pass the first of four lakes along June Lake Loop. Grant Lake is the largest lake serving as a reservoir on the Los Angeles Aqueduct System. Known as one of the Sierra’s leading trout fishing lakes, a 10 mph limit is enforced upon boaters until 10:00 a.m. each morning to accommodate early morning anglers. After 10:00 a.m. the lake is open to boaters and water skiers. Next is Silver Lake, home to fine fishing, summer vacation homes and several trail heads connecting to the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Yosemite, Pacific Crest Trail and John Muir Trail. The third lake on the loop is Gull Lake, smallest of the four lakes. The heart of June Lake Village lies between Gull Lake and nearby June Lake. A boat ramp, park, playground and tennis courts can be found along the shores of Gull Lake, home to trout, crayfish and Sacramento perch.

The fourth lake is June Lake. Sitting at an elevation of 7,621 feet, this beautiful lake offers a commanding view of the towering granite mountains surrounding June Lake Loop. June Lake is a natural 320-acre glacial lake filled by spring water. The lake’s average depth of 60 feet and maximum depth of 168 feet are stocked with rainbow trout and cutthroat trout by California’s Department of Fish and Game. Additional species include brook trout, brown trout, Alpers trophy trout, and Lahontan cutthroat trout unique to June Lake. A marina provides boat rentals and a wide selection of services during fishing season which runs from April through October.

June Lake water is cold, but on warm summer days two lakeside beaches attract sunbathers and swimmers. The first beach is located at the north end of the lake, and the other is near the marina along the southeastern shore. If the water feels too cold for a swim, consider sailing or kayaking around the three-mile shoreline.

Part of California’s High Sierra Tourism Region, the tall granite peaks and large stone columns surrounding June Lake Loop attract hikers, rock climbers and mountain climbers. Parker Lake Trail is the easiest climb with a distance of two miles and 400 foot elevation. Fern Lake, Reversed Peak, and Agnew Lake Trails are difficult vertical climbs not recommended for novices. Back country trails connect hikers to the Ansel Adams Wilderness Area. Equestrian outfitters and trails are readily available for those who prefer a ride into the back country.

Ansel Adams Wilderness Area lies immediately west of June Lake Loop and covers 228,500 acres divided between the Inyo and Sierra National Forests. Photographers, mountain climbers and experienced hikers will enjoy the rugged mountainous landscape covered with wildflowers in the spring and colorful quaking aspens in the fall. Peaks reaching over 13,000 feet in the Ritter Range display several small glaciers and mountain lakes.

A 25-mile drive northwest of June Lake takes you to the entrance of Yosemite National Park. Known for its breathtaking natural beauty, spectacular waterfalls, sheer granite cliffs and giant sequoias, Yosemite attracts 3.5 million visitors a year. Those willing to hike beyond the major attractions will be treated to over 800 miles of hiking trails through woodlands, subalpine and alpine habitats supporting a variety of rare plant and animal life. A park not to be missed, the outstanding scenery and diversity found in Yosemite led to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

On your way to Yosemite you will pass by the eerily beautiful Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve. This saline lake is one of the oldest lakes in America with the lake and wetlands providing habitat for over 80 species of migratory birds. In 1941 Los Angeles County diverted water from Mono Lake, resulting in a drop of the lake level and exposing towering deposits of calcium-carbonate. The deposits are called tufas and at 200 to 13,000 years old, the towering figures make a spectacular scene surrounded by the Sierra’s snow-covered mountains.

Over the years the rugged mountain landscape of the Eastern High Sierras has become known as the “Switzerland of California.” With such a name it is not surprising that June Lake Loop and nearby Mammoth Lakes provide a playground for winter sport enthusiasts. Whether your preference is skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling or ice climbing, you will find it close to June Lake.

Sitting within Mono County and Inyo National Forest, June Lake Loop has hosted visitors since 1915. June Lake’s year-round recreation, stunning views, and blissfully remote location continue to create the perfect vacation environment. Several private and two U. S. Forest Service campgrounds surround June Lake. Over 50 percent of the private residences in June Lake are second homes. Additional small intimate resorts, cabins, vacation rentals and real estate properties complete the selection of June Lake Loop accommodations. Select your favorite spot and watch the day fade away over the mountains knowing that new mountain adventures awaits you each morning.

Things to do at June Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Ice Climbing
  • Biking
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Waterfall
  • Birding
  • National Park
  • National Forest
  • Playground

Fish species found at June Lake

  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Perch
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Sacramento Perch
  • Trout

June Lake Photo Gallery

June Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 320 acres

Shoreline Length: 3 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 7,621 feet

Average Depth: 60 feet

Maximum Depth: 168 feet

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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