Sometimes referred to as “the Little Switzerland of the Sierra” June Lake is stunningly beautiful. Chock full of lakes, streams, and meadows June is a fisherman’s paradise in the summer and a quiet ski town in the winter. In addition to fishing and skiing, June has a variety of hiking trails to explore as well as a vibrant downtown Village with creative new restaurants and shops.
If you love having privacy and prefer a mellower vibe then June Lake may be the perfect match for you. Whether you want to be in the heart of the Village or down canyon with views of Horsetail Falls June Lake has a variety of unique neighborhoods and some do allow nightly rentals in single-family homes.
If you like small-town living in a beautiful setting then one of the north mono county communities may suit you. Lee Vining, just 29 miles north of Mammoth, has views of Mono Lake and is the gateway into Yosemite National Park’s east entrance into Tuolumne Meadows. Less than 10 miles north of Lee Vining sits Mono City, a bedroom community just north of Lee Vining where children can play in the street, neighbors are friendly, and there are views for miles. Head up and over Conway Summit into Virginia Lakes, a seasonal community accessible by road from June through October. Situated at 10,000 feet, there are modern homes as well as off the grid cabins, a true outdoor paradise.
Continue north on 395 for 11 more miles and you will come to the historic town and county seat, Bridgeport. Bridgeport offers acreage properties for those who truly want to be away from it all. Heading into the mountains from Bridgeport where the road ends and the mountain trails begin, you will find Twin Lakes. This is another seasonal community sprinkled with cabins that give you the true feeling of the old Eastern Sierra experience. Last but not least, the very small town of Walker is the most northern community in Mono County and is only 50 miles south of Carson City, Nevada.
Why June Lake, Lee Vinning & Bridgeport?
For world class hiking head up Tioga Pass to Saddlebag Lake. Take a scenic boat ride across the lake to the 21 Lakes Basin where you can wander amidst towering peaks, alpine lakes and meadows.
Road ride the June Lake scenic loop in summer or fall for a spectacular foliage show. The full loop is 30+ miles and may be ridden as an out and back to avoid Highway 395.
Even if you don’t ski, ride the chairlift up to the top of June Mountain for epic views and lunch at the lodge. In the fall, explore the foliage of the scenic loop, which typically peaks mid October. Another fun option is to take a morning kayak tour on Mono Lake amongst the tufa towers. You are sure to see some interesting birds.
Silver Lake Lodge is my favorite. It helps that they have the best breakfast on the East Side and a lovely country store on-site. The Double Eagle Lodge is more upscale with finer dining and fancier cabins. A fantastic venue for weddings and family time.
June has a plethora of campgrounds which include: Oh! Ridge, June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake and Grant Lake. They are all worth exploring.
Rent a boat on one of the many lakes (June, Grant, Gull or Silver) and fish til your hearts content with an amazing mountain backdrop.