June Lake is an unincorporated community in Mono County, California. It is located 12.5 miles (20 km) south of Lee Vining, at an elevation of 7654 feet (2333 m). The village of June Lake is on the southern end of June Lake. According to the Mono County's government website, the population as of 2000 was 608. The population of the town is now approximately 600 (according to the posted signs, and the Mono County Government) full time residents. In the Summer that can grow by 2500 visitors: fisherman, campers, tourists, backpackers and outdoors enthusiasts. The ZIP Code is 93529.
June Lake is a set of five distinct community areas strung along California State Route 158. June Lake Village is the commercial center, in addition to residential uses, it contains stores, offices, lodging, restaurants, and the town's library and post office. West Village contains condominiums, ballfields, and rodeo grounds that are being developed into a resort. June Mountain Ski Area is adjacent to West Village and is managed by Inyo National Forest. Down Canyon is primarily single-familty residential, both seasonal and year-round, with some tourist lodging. Silver Lake Meadow contains primarily a single-family housing residential character. Situated northwest of June Lake, Pine Cliff contains campgrounds and light industrial.
The June Lake Loop has been attracting people such as fisherman, hunters, and hikers since the 1800s. It was first occupied by the Paiute Indians and later became a fishing village. Southern California anglers had to walk from State Highway 395 into the June Lake Loop in order to fish because there was no road connecting the two. The first real construction in June Lake was in 1915 when construction on the Rush Creek Power House began. During the construction of the power house, an employee Roy Carson started the first private resort known as Carson Camp.
It was a tent camp until 1920 when the first cabin was completed. A year later, after the completion of the first cabin another two cabins were erected in 1921. The new, larger cabin contained a dining room and a small area for the U.S. Post Office. At present this cabin is still the Silver Lake store and restaurant. Somewhere around 1924 the U.S. Forest Service put in a dirt road from the June Lake Junction to June Lake. Eventually power house employees and fishermen continued the road down to Silver Lake. The road from the June Lake junction made June Lake automobile accessible and caused the town to develop much more quickly.
Housing tracts formed in between June and Gull Lakes and also by Silver Lake. Along with housing tracts a fish hatchery was built in 1926 on Fern Creek. The hatchery produced an average of 1,000,000 small fish every year, and they were distributed to the surrounding area's lakes and creeks. Due to a larger volume of travel on Highway 395 a land lease permit was issued to the Carrington family so that they could create a service station with a repair shop and lunch room. They called it "Crater Garage and Lunch Room". The improvements to the road and expansion to the town allowed for new lodges to be built. Boulder Lodge was the second resort to be built in the loop and then shortly after came Gull Lake Lodge, Fern Creek Lodge, and the Cherokee Lodge. All of the lodges in June Lake started as tent camps and eventually developed into cabins and lodges. On May 1, 1928 the June Lodge now known as the Heidelberg Inn opened its doors for the beginning of fishing season and sported fifty rooms and a large four sided fireplace. With the expansion of the community and its new permanent residents the necessity for a Post Office and school arose. The first United States Post Office in June Lake was established on October 1, 1927 and the first school in 1933.
The school was run out of Fern Creek Lodge and the first teacher Mrs. Romana Power earned $1500.00 for a year. June Lake transformed from a small town into a city when the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power bought the water rights in Mono Basin. They constructed a dam at the lower end of Grant Lake and used it as water storage for the City of Los Angeles. Most of the supervisors, private contractors, foreman, and City specialists for this project found lodging in June Lake. When the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power had completed its job the town calmed down and returned to a slower pace. In the 1940’s the City of June Lake constructed its first water system and June Lake Winter Sports Association purchased a stationary ski lift. June Lake finally adopted electricity in 1946 which allowed for light and refrigeration. In 1960 the U.S. Forest Service leased land to Bud Hayward to build the ski area of June Mountain and it was officially open in 1961. The June Lake Loops horseshoe shaped valley and lakes were formed by two glaciers, the Rush Creek and Reversed Creek Glaciers. The once whole glacier came from the High Sierras and was split by Reversed Peak creating two separate pieces. The larger part of the glacier flowed to the north creating Silver Lake. The smaller part followed the Sierra Nevada Fault south carving out basins for Gull and June Lake. One notable glacial erratic is the perched boulder next to the June Lake Fire Station. This bolder is 18 feet tall and weighs 150 tons. It was carried by the Rush Creek glacier to its present position.
The 2000 United States Census reported the population of June Lake to be 613. For 2003, the California Department of Finance estimated the population to be 626. In 2000, 4% of the population was under 5 years old, 17% were from 5 to 17, 71% were from 18 to 64, and 8% were over 65. The median age was 41.4. Sixty-six percent of the households were owner occupied and 34% were rented. Only 615 of June Lake's 1,187 parcels have been developed. June Lake's population is highly seasonal: 223 households are full-time residences and 571 are part-time. Including seasonal visitors, June Lake may have a temporary population of 2,900.
The Mono County General Plan provides for an additional 3,970 dwelling units in June Lake.
une Lake is known for its mountain landscapes, spring wildflowers, beautifully long lake shores, and dark green pines which lay atop granite hillsides. There are many campsites in June Lake that are open to visitors throughout the loop. Surrounding many of the campsites are lakes and creeks that are abundantly filled with trout just waiting to be caught
Fishing is considered one of the favorite summer sports. There are different types of fishing in the lakes and creeks: trolling in the lake, spin-fishing with cow bells, fly fishing, or just bait, worms, cheese, eggs, and hook. The lakes at June Lake have an icy cool temperature because of the melting ice in the spring from the winter snow in the mountains. Hiking is also a favorite pass time to many visitors. June Lake offers many trails that lead into the surrounding back country. Most of the hikes including: Fern Lake, Reversed Peak, and Agnew Lake are strenuous and vertical. The exception is the Parker Lake Trail which is a 2 mile hike that only climbs 400 feet in elevation..
For those visitors interested in getting to the back country but not on foot the other option is by horseback. The Frontier Pack Train, June Lakes pack station, makes backcountry trips into the Hoover and Minaret Wilderness areas. Other options of things to do while visiting June Lake include: bird watching, sailing, photography, boating, water skiing, and mountain biking. The weather in the spring and summer can range anywhere between 44 degrees on a cool spring morning to 96 degrees on a hot summer day. At the end of summer, autumn and winter roll into the June Lake Loop transforming the town. The cooling of temperatures changes the community’s trees into an array of colors. The Aspen trees change from green to gold and then to red. Aspen trees and the scenery of the horseshoe shaped canyon provide photographers with an ideal picture. Fall is typically a slow season for the community of June Lake, and an excellent time to fish the four lakes because of the cooling water temperatures. The average autumn temperature can range anywhere from 45 - 68 degrees. Winter temperatures are cooler ranging from 21 – 36 degrees.
There are many activities to enjoy during the winter months in June Lake. One of which is June Mountain Ski Area, opened in the mid 1960’s and bought by Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in 1986. It offers 7 chairlifts, 35 trails, 500 skiable acres, and a terrain park. June Mountain’s base elevation is 7,510 feet, its summit is 10,090 feet and its vertical rise is 2,580 feet. June Lake is also a great place to find ice climbing, ice skating, snowmobiling, sledding and snow play, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter mountaineering and touring.
June Lake is the perfect place to visit for all outdoor enthusiasts. It offers a variety of places to stay, an abundance of things to do, and is a quaint friendly town. Lodging and vacation rentals in June Lake range from cottages, to cabins, resorts, and motels. The newest addition to the town is the Double Eagle Resort and Spa. The resort consists of 15 two-bedroom cabins and 16 luxury rooms with access to cable TV and wireless internet. Guests are provided with a barbecue grill on a private deck and fully-equipped kitchens. The Resort also has its own spa, bar, and restaurant. The Creekside Spa, offers a pool, jacuzzi, fitness center, massage therapy, and facials. Other places to stay include: Boulder Lodge, The Haven, Four Seasons, Silver Lake Resort, Reverse Creek Lodge, Lake Front Cabins, June Lake Villager Inn, June Lake Pines Cottages, Whispering Pines, June Lake Motel and Cabins, Heidelberg Inn, Fern Creek Lodge, and Big Rock Resort.
During the fair weather months, June Lake offers RV camping at: Silver Lake Resort RV Park, Pine Cliff Resort, June Lake RV Park, and Golden Pine RV Park. Other campgrounds maintained by the U.S. Forest Service include: Oh! Ridge, June Lake, Gull Lake, Reverse Creek, and Silver Lake. June Lake offers three Art Galleries which feature local artists pottery and wood carvings. The town offers dining at the Sierra Inn, Carson Peak Inn, Tiger Bar and Café, Eagles Landing Restaurant, Silver Lake Café, Alpine Deli and Pizza, and Trout Town Joe. June Lake has five marinas where boats can be rented. There are two marinas at June Lake (June Lake Marina and Big Rock Resort), one at Gull Lake (Gull Lake Marina), one at Silver Lake (Silver Lake Marina), and one at Grant Lake (Grant Lake Marina).The community has a general store, sporting goods store, and gift shops.
June Lake is in the Eastern Sierra Unified School District. June Lake has a public library.
June Lake is the seat of the June Lake Fire Protection District, which was established in 1939. The fire protection district covers an area of approximately 8.5 square miles (22 km2), including not only June Lake, but the nearby unincorporated areas of Pine Creek, June Lake Junction, and the area of the June Lake Loop from June Lake Junction to Silver Lake. The District maintains two fire houses.