If you are looking for the best June Lake hikes, the June Lake loop is the way to go! Nestled in the Inyo National forest amidst the Sierra Nevada Mountain ranges, this loop offers many activities, including some adventurous hiking opportunities.

The trails around this region navigate varied terrains like alpine lakes, lush meadows and wetlands. 

Burn your calories and get the stunning views of the mountains, falls and lakes as a reward.

There are several trails suitable for all types of hikers, and the best part of these trails is that you can either hike them during Spring, Summer or Fall to see fall colours and foliage or snowshoe during winter.

Enjoy camping in the camping grounds along these trails if you want to soak in rustic nature away from the crowded towns.

Whether you are getting ready to hike or have an incredible time with your family and friends, this post covers the best June Lake hikes, tips for hiking in June Lake, travel tips and resources and hiking gear requirements.



Since the trails lie in the thick of the Inyo Forest region and the larger Sierra Nevada range, it is recommended to connect with the area rangers to learn more about the trails and to follow safety regulations. 

Check with the Mammoth Ranger District center in Mammoth Lakes.


June Lake hikes are a year-round activity, and you will find various avid hikers here depending on what they prefer to see or experience during the different seasons of the year. 

In the Summer, the days are warm, and you may still witness tiny bits of snow during early summer days. 

If you love to hike between the lush vegetation and colourful wildflowers along the trails, spring is the best times.

The trails run amidst the Creeks, and the creeks might overflow during spring and early summer due to snow melting. 

So be wary and check the status of the trails before you plan your hike.

During Fall, these trails will mostly be adorned with fall foliage, and you will see aspens turning into shades of yellow from green. 

If you love to snowshoe these trails, visit the place during winter.

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If you want the best views of the Lake and the surrounding mountain regions, I recommend hiking all these trails during the early hours of the day. Preferably around sunrise to witness incredible sunrise views. 

The lake views might depreciate later in the day as the sun moves from one direction to another, causing the shadow of mountains to fall on the Lake. 

Ideally, you should see sparkling lake waters when the weather conditions and time are favourable.


Despite the fact that the June Lake area has pretty good weather throughout the year, it is always advisable to check the weather conditions before your visit, especially during peak seasons like winter. 

You might encounter road closures if the weather changes abruptly, and you might have to detour sadly during those circumstances.


If you plan to hike the trails around June Lake Loop, you should know that the elevation surrounding the regions, especially on these trails, can go up to 9000 feet.

If you are prone to altitude sickness, I insist on hiking slowly and staying hydrated. It is always recommended to get acclimatised before climbing up.


Keep a brochure from the visitor centre or take a print for the trail maps since you might need more internet as you hike up on some trails. 

Also, it is fun to follow some old-school techniques along with adventure.


Depending on the time of year, you must modify the list of the items below according to the temperatures. 

If you visit in the winter, rain and fog are widespread during the California mist season. Here’s a list of things you will need.



The temperatures can be foggy during the day and drop at night as the breeze increases. 

As with camping anywhere, you must be prepared for unpredictability by going with many layers. Here’s what you need:


Here are some of the camping essentials you need:

Camping essentials for preparing food:

The best one I’d recommend is this Outdoor Master Cook Portable Folding Camp Kitchen along with this Light Weight Cook Ware and Backpacking Gas Stove Burner.


Even if you aren’t into photography, you may want to bring a camera with a good lens. I carry a Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70S  while camping since I prefer lightweight gear to my Nikon D850, which I use regularly.

I recommend you get travel insurance ALWAYS whenever you are on international or domestic travel! 

Check out this insurance by Safety Wing, which offers a pretty good cover for you and your family! 

They even provide monthly insurance, much required for slow travellers like me!



  • Length: 2 miles Loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation Gain: 65 feet
  • Time: 45 minutes to 90 minutes
  • Trailhead: Library/Community Center

One of the best June Lake hikes is the Gull Lake Shore Nature Trail in the Gull Lake Shore Nature preserve, located on the North shore of the Lake. 

The trailhead begins at the Mono County Community Center on Granite Avenue and winds its way counterclockwise through varied ecosystems comprising distinctive flora and fauna. 

Witness the beautiful meadows, tranquil wetlands, riparian areas and gorgeous midlands as you navigate this trail. 

Please note that the trail passes through private cabins, so please respect their privacy and maintain the sanity of the place as you hike.

When you start hiking counterclockwise, initially, you will have to hike up a small hilly area through sagebrush for a few minutes and then turn left to hit the narrow part of the trail to reach the meadow habitat. 

Enjoy the spectacular views of June Mountain to your left here. 

June Lake Hikes

Also, this part of the trail is lovely in Spring, as vibrant Spring wildflowers will welcome you. Please stick to the trail and not step on the meadows.

Walk a few meters ahead, and the Aspen grove will greet you. 

If you are here during the Fall, you will see Aspens turning into all shades of yellow, orange and burgundy, adding glory to the scene. 

Take in the beautiful views of the fall foliage and fall colours.

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Keep walking on the trail, and you will end up in the split section; the Gull Lake and Fisherman Trail.

If you continue hiking on the Gull Lake trail, you will pass through the Gull Lake campground and end in the Gull Lake Marina. 

Check out the beautiful rock outcroppings at the South end and watch for Ospreys trying their catch for the day.

If you take up the other split, the Fisherman’s trail, you will hike a hilly area with incredible lake views below. 

June Lake Hikes

Hike a quarter mile further, and you will see the famed Rope Swing and the swimming hole area, one of the famous June Lake Loop summer attractions.

Dogs on leashes are allowed on this trail. Besides hiking, the trail is popular with bird watchers, nature lovers and campers. 

Boat and kayak rentals are available near Gull Lake Marina to explore more of this region.

Enjoy spectacular Lake views and the surrounding mountain vistas sipping your favourite beer at the June Lake Brewery after a breathtaking hike day.


  • Length: 3.8 miles, Out and Back
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation Gain: 652 feet
  • Time: 2 hours – 3 hours
  • Trailhead: Parker Lake Road, near Grant Lake on California Highway 158

If you are looking for a comparatively more challenging hike, check out Parker Lake trail, a 3.8-mile out-and-back trail located North of June Lake near Grant Lake.

With 652 feet of elevation gain, the initial part of the trail is steep and will pass through sagebrush but gets flattened out and shaded from the Jeffrey Pines and Aspens as you hike further. 

The entire hike stays above the Parker Creek Canyon, offering the best valley views throughout your hike.

The gorgeous Parker Creek will welcome you as you hike halfway up. 

Take a pit stop here, enjoy the sounds of flowing water amidst the forest, and observe how the Creek adds the utmost serenity.

The trail can be best experienced during Fall since it will be adorned with foliage, and fall colours with aspens turn yellow. During Spring, witness splendid views of vibrant wildflowers.

Enjoy the distant views of Mono Lake and the summits of Mount Wood, Mount Lewis, and Parker Peak as you hike up. 

The road to the trail is tricky; be cautious, as it is a slightly bumpy ride. Get your pup on a leash.


  • Length: 3.4 miles, Out and Back
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Elevation Gain: 1570 feet
  • Time: 4 hours – 6 hours
  • Trailhead: Near the Double Eagle Resort, about 1.5 miles from June Lake Village.

If you want more adventure, check out the Fern Lake Trail, one of the challenging June Lake hikes in the middle of the famous June Lake Loop.

This 3.4 miles out and back trail is steep with a 1,570 feet elevation gain, and is a bit strenuous and is for experienced hikers. The trailhead is located by the Double Eagle Resort. 

With an elevation of 1570 feet, the trailhead filled with loose gravel begins amidst the whispering pines and Fern Creek lodge on the June Lake Loop. 

You will stumble upon a waterfall along the path, a perfect spot to take a break to unwind and recharge. 

June Lake Hikes

At this point, you can either proceed straight towards Fern Lake or take a left to Yost Lake.

Since this is an uphill hike, you will be greeted with spectacular vistas of the Sierra Nevada mountain ranges, and also, the aerial views of Gull lake, Silver Lake and June Lake are incredible. 

The fall foliage and colourful wildflowers during Spring add charm to the scene.

If you are here during winter, the lakes might be frozen, and you might have to wear your sturdy snow shoes and walk on the powdery snow.

Sit along the shoreline of Fern Lake and admire the surroundings dotted with tall pine trees and lush green meadows. 

Reel in some trouts or Rent a Kayak or a boat and explore the interiors of Fern Lake after your hike.

You can get your furry friend on a leash on this trail.


  • Length: 4.5 miles, Out and Back
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Elevation Gain: 1700 feet
  • Time: 4 hours – 6 hours
  • Trailhead: Near the Double Eagle Resort, about 1.5 miles from June Lake Village.

Another beautiful Lake near June Lake is Yost Lake, nestled between June Mountain and Carson Peak. 

Check out the Yost Lake hike, one of the top June Lake Hikes whose trailhead is the same as that of the Fern Lake Trail.

The trail begins with a steep climb, and after a few miles, you will arrive at the Fork, where you will have to cross Fern creek to continue on the Yost Lake trail. 

It is a narrow wooden bridge. So be cautious and check the water levels before you start the hike.

June Lake Hikes

Yost Lake trail is also popular among bird watchers and wildlife buffs. You might spot rare birds and witness rabbits and squirrels along the trail.

Colourful wildflowers adorn the trail during Spring, and during the Fall, you can enjoy the fall foliage and fall colours.

Enjoy the diverse landscapes, from lush forests to open meadows and take in the beautiful dramatic views of the June Lake Loop, Silver Lake and distant views of Mount Wood. 

You can also hike the Yost Lake trail via another path which starts from the June Lake fire station. But since it is a much longer route, I recommend the one near the Double Eagle resort, one of my favourites too.


  • Length: 7.2 miles, Out and Back
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Elevation Gain: 2080 feet
  • Time: 4 hours – 6 hours
  • Trailhead: By Silver Lake, near the Frontier Pack Station

If you are on Highway 158, the June Lake Loop, check out the Rush Creek trail, one of the beautiful but strenuous June Lake hikes, which is 7.2 miles out and back trail with a 2,000 feet elevation gain. 

The trailhead starts near the North East side of Silver Lake Campground and leads to part of Inyo National Forest, which is only accessible by foot. Enjoy the magnificent valley, stunning foliage and lake views as you navigate the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

hikes in June Lake

Begin your ascent via the Gem Lake Trailhead, parallel to Silver Lake. At almost half the trail, you will hear cascading Horsetail waterfalls.

The course here splits into Rush Creek Trail, which runs adjacent to the Rush Creek river, which finally flows into Agnew Lake. 

People usually get confused with Agnew Lake as Gem Lake. You can either stop at this point which will be 4 miles from the trailhead, and take in the views of Agnew Lake and the man-made structures like Trams around it or continue a bit further for about 3 miles to reach Gem Lake.

The trams were supposedly built in 1915 and served the hydroelectric power plant at Gem Lake.

When you arrive at Gem Lake, check out the beach area, where you can unwind and take in the gorgeous views. 

If you hike the trail during Spring, you can witness the Creek flowing over the Granite cliffs, a visual treat amidst the towering aspens.

This hike needs a bit of rock scrambling, which is suitable for experienced hikers. Pack the necessary snacks and beverages, as this will be more than half a day’s hike.

Fun Fact: The trail is sometimes used for horseback riding. You might stamp on the droppings along the path.


  • Length: 6.9 miles, Out and Back
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Elevation Gain: 1968 feet
  • Time: 3 hours – 4 hours
  • Trailhead: North Shore Drive, near the Ball Park

One of the hidden gems on the list of June Lake hikes is the reversed peak trail, dotted with Junipers and Jeffrey Pines.

With 1970 feet of elevation gain that runs 6.9 miles out and back, the trail will take you to the highest point of the June Lake Loop. 

You will be rewarded with majestic views of the alpine lakes and the stunning Sierra Valley. 

Things to do in June Lake California

Watch out for local florae and fauna like rabbits, deer and squirrels along the trail.

The end part of the trail is tricky and will add a couple of hours and miles to the entire distance. But I recommend you give it a shot for some rock climbing. 

Follow the path till you see an arrow, turn right at that point and then hike up through the rock tunnel. 

It might be approximately 30 feet of adventure to the top, but the 360-degree views are fantastic.

You can spot many prominent peaks around the region, from Carson Peak and San Joaquin Mountain to the Minarets, Mount Ritter, and Banner Peak. Enjoy the distant views of Mono Lake.

For the best reversed peak hiking experience, I recommend you take the early hours of the day to witness spectacular sunrise vistas.



1 Comment

  1. Ras Bahadur Rai Reply

    Your writing style is captivating, and your storytelling takes me on a virtual journey. I feel like I’m right there, experiencing the sights, sounds, and flavors of the places you visit. Thank you for sharing your adventures!

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