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Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 | 88 comments

Eastern Sierra: June Lake Loop

Last year, after touring Yosemite’s Tioga Road, we descended to the Owens Valley area and visited some beautiful places like Mono Lake and Fossil Falls.

In addition, we had the opportunity to drive the 12-mile road known as the June Lake Loop.  This road provides easy access to the namesake lake and three other lakes.  At that time, we were blown away by the spectacular mountains and pristine waters.

The day we visited was gloomy and windy.  It was our intention to return at another time with better weather conditions.

Our desires became a reality this past weekend.  We drove to June Lake from Bishop on Saturday morning and were rewarded with mild autumn weather, clear blue skies and lakes that resemble mirrors.

On top of that, the June Lake Loop is known for its vibrant fall colors (the area is full of aspens).  We arrived a little bit too late. The trees were past peak by a couple of days but there were still yellow, orange and red shades everywhere.

I am still on a high note because of this trip.  It is not my intention to tarnish the following photos with my clumsy words.  That is the reason why I am going to keep commentary to a minimum.  Hope you are a lake lover like me!

June Lake

This is the lake which gives the name to the loop and main town on the area.  It is considered a subalpine lake and it is located in the Mono Basin. There are two marinas on the lake (see the boats in the photos).  Fishing, kayaking and swimming are popular activities practiced by visitors.

The June Lake town is small but it cover visitor’s necessities very well (restaurants, motels, sporting goods stores, etc.).  In addition, a popular ski resort is located in the vicinity.

June Lake, June Lake Loop, California

June Lake, June Lake Loop, California

June Lake, June Lake Loop, California

June Lake, June Lake Loop, California

June Lake, June Lake Loop, California

June Lake, June Lake Loop, California

June Lake, June Lake Loop, California

June Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Gull Lake

This smaller lake is located very close to June Lake.  It has a marina and a general store full of quirky wood carvings, signs and posters.  The lake is known as “The Home of the Monster Trout.”

Gull Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Gull Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Gull Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Gull Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Gull Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Gull Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Gull Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Gull Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Gull Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Gull Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Silver Lake

We started to see a lot of aspens while driving to Silver Lake.  I love the reflection of the yellow trees on the water.  Some parts of the mountain behind the lake were bursting with yellow flowers.

Silver Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Silver Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Silver Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Silver Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Silver Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Silver Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Silver Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Grant Lake

This is the larger lake in the area. The Grant Lake Marina is a full service marina with docks, fishing boat rentals, and launch. The marina has snacks, refreshment, tackle and gasoline.

Since the water level was a bit down, cars were going down to the lake bed using unpaved roads.

Grant Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Grant Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Grant Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Grant Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Grant Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Grant Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Grant Lake, June Lake Loop, California

Grant Lake, June Lake Loop, California


  • June Lake is located 12 miles south of Lee Vining or 60 miles north of Bishop. It is a 4-5 hours drive from Los Angeles.
  • The town of June Lake provides services to visitor’s. In addition, there are many resorts around the main road.  Restaurants and other facilities can be found in there.
  • A drive around the loop with plenty of stops can be done in half a day. However, there is no reason to rush your time there.
  • There are plenty of hiking opportunities in the area. Stop by the visitor’s center for more information.
  • If you are a winter sports fanatic, this is the place to be once the snow starts to fall.
  • The Eastern Sierra area is abounds with places to see and things to do. You can use June Lake to explore the surrounding area (and even to visit Yosemite).

Have you driven the June Lake Loop?  Which is the most beautiful lake you have visited?


Pin it for later?

Take a look at the amazing spots to visit on June Lake, Eastern Sierra, California.  The area has 4 lakes accessible by road and many more accessible by trail.



  1. This is a spectacular part of the state. I have never been here in the fall.

    • This was my first fall visit. It is a great time to visit. The weather is very nice. The only thing is that nights can get a bit chilly and you have to go ready if you are going to camp

  2. Spectacular scenery

  3. Wow! Very beautiful blue skies. I enjoyed your former posts too.

    • Thanks Jarek! I am happy you are enjoying the posts. I had good luck with the weather on this particular trip.

  4. Oh. my. goodness! How stunning!

    • Thanks a lot! I appreciate your comment.

  5. Your images are beautiful. I love the rugged mountain scenery and the lake waters are so blue. The water level in Grant Lake is really low, wow.

    • Thanks Felicia! I knew I wanted to revisit the area because I loved it so much the first time I stopped by. I think I like it more now.

  6. Oh my god, the water of June lake is so clear!! And with orange foliage and snowy mountains as a back drop, this certainly is the perfect autumn destination!

    • I was a bit surprised when we entered the loop and saw the lake from above. It was a bit difficult to find a parking spot but we finally got one.

  7. Oh my goodness! These photos are nothing short of stunning, and I think that I might actually be drooling! I’m so glad that you got to go back for another drive because that second day looks perfect!

    • Thanks Ashley! This area is the land of lakes. I think I will never get tired of admiring the hundred ones in this area.

  8. Such a beautiful area with a combination bright blue sky, high mountains and autumnal trees.
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    • That is the magic of the Eastern Sierra. The good things is that the area is full of places similar to the one I am presenting in here. The possibilities to explore are endless.

  9. Those are beautiful lakes – there’s nothing like mountains and water.

    • Agree with you Al! I am more of a beach lover but am learning to like mountains. And, there is no doubt I have always enjoyed rivers and lakes.

    • I know, I loved to observe the emerald and turquoise around the shores and the deeper blues on the middle of the lakes.

    • Well, maybe one day you can discover more of California’s mountains. Anyway, you have tons of beautiful landscapes in New Zealand.

  10. The Lakes look incredible, especially June and Grant Lakes. So serene and great colours. Would love to visit Yosemite and that part of California. Nice one! #WanderfulWednesday

    • I am glad you liked the area. Yosemite and the surrounding country are a must for any nature lover (and even for people who doesn’t love nature that much).

  11. So many lakes! All so different but equally beautiful! I’ve never been to Yosemite, but after my national park’s trip last year it’s high up on my list! I love a good hike too, so this looks wonderful! Your pictures of the reflections in June lake are stunning! 😀

    • Thanks Lauren! I think going to a National Park gives you a desire to visit more parks. They are so amazing! And, of course, they are full of hikes!

  12. Splendid series. The sun was certainly out this time. I can see why you felt somewhat speechless.

    • I know you completely get the feeling!

  13. Stunning pictures — we’ve been to Mono lake, but years ago though I still remember it clearly. However, it was mid-summer and based on your pictures, we were obviously not there at the best season! Thank you for these.

    • I went to Mono Lake last year (you can find a post here on the blog). That is another mind blowing place on this area. You have to understand why I like it so much.

  14. Wow, your return visit to the lake certainly was anything but dark and gloomy. Loved these photos – such wonderful scenery!

    • All the planets were align for this second visit! I cannot wait to go back to the area. I wish I can go every weekend.

  15. Beautiful images, lovely scenery. I do love blue skies and white clouds.

    • I like clouds too. There weren’t that many that day but I cannot complain.

  16. This post has loads of beautiful landscape shots. Too many to choose a favourite but the lake is certainly beautiful. It would be a lovely area to walk in.

    • Well, I think you can understand the difficulties I had narrowing the number of pictures in the post. I took so many beautiful ones!

  17. Wow, these are beautiful photos! #PhotoFriday

    • Thanks Stephanie! I am glad you enjoyed the photos.

    • Glad you liked the photos!

  18. We’ve been at June lake last year in winter. It looks so beautiful and serene. I like it summer too. Ah, your pictures make me want to go there right now.

    • Believe me, I want to go back too. I had a super long list of places I wanted to visit but wasn’t able to cover all of them.

    • Actually, Mono Lake is visible when you are exiting the June Lake Loop. I love that lake too.

  19. OMG looks absolutely beautiful! Can’t believe I’ve never been here before!! #WeekendWanderlust

    • Well, you have to make plans to visit when you return to California.

  20. What a beautiful place, the reflections are amazing


    • That was one of my favorite things of the day. And more when the colorful trees were reflecting on the water.

  21. Stunning photos! I am headed to Yosemite tomorrow – if we can get through with the incoming snow. Keeping my fingers crossed!

    • Hope you made it! It is kind of early for snow (but it was raining today, so, snow is possible).

  22. These pictures, especially ones with the reflections of yellow trees, look stunning! Beautiful landscapes… Would love to visit one day!

    • The reflections were nice! I really liked the yellow ones.

  23. Spectacular and incredibly beautiful shots! They’re so uplifting, especially with Moscow being overcast all the time.

    • That is the beauty of California: the sunshine. It is with us the entire year.

    • It was crystal clear. These are some of the most spectacular lakes I have seen.

    • I guess the area is more popular in winter than in summer. The good thing is that there are facilities that help visitors enjoy any season. I went to Mammoth too during this trip.

    • I will go back too! I do not think I can get tired of the area. The thing is that there are other lakes located within walking distance of these. We didn’t have time to hike / walk this time.

  24. The area around June Lake Loop is beautiful and you were able to capture the beauty perfectly in your pictures. Awesome photos!

    • Thanks Marcelle! You can see why I like this area so much.

  25. Wow! Breathtaking photos! We visited June Lake recently, but we must have been in a different area (plus it was summer). We spent the day at a really crowded beach, but the water was SO COLD and so perfectly turquoise. I’d love to visit again in the off season!

    • I think you guys took the road to one of the marinas instead of going towards the town. When I went here the first time, the beach was kind of full and there were tons of people practicing water sports.

    • I think we are on the same page with respect to that. I like beaches, lakes, rivers and waterfalls.

  26. Beautiful. Would love to get there some day.

    • Hope you have the opportunity! Thanks for stopping by.

  27. What an awesome day! I love how the blue sky and lakes match perfectly.Thanks for co-hosting this week. #TPThursday

    • Nancy, it was like we had an infinite of blue in front of us!

  28. Stunning! Exceptionally lovely blue sky…Your pictures are excellent. I cherish the rough mountain..The water level in Grant Lake is truly low…

    • That is true, the water on Grant Lake is low but I am not sure how full it gets. The level was similar when I went a year ago.

  29. When we spent 2 months in America last year, the one thing we noticed is that you guys have fantastic lakes. You have just reinforced this.

    • Not sure what state you visited but I am sure lakes were abundant if you were around mountains.

  30. Awesome views of the lake! Thanks for sharing!

  31. Beautiful, great series of photos!

    • Thanks Birgitta!

  32. OMG, my eyes feel so comfortable with your images. June Lake could be a good destination for anyone, where we enjoy the mild autumn, clear blue sky and serene lake. Thanks for your suggestion

    • If you haven’t been there, you should go. There are so many beautiful views in the area. Plus, there are places to relax (eating or drinking) and people are very nice.

  33. I’m so exciting and curious of the Grand Lake Marina. It looks like a blue silk stripe flows down from the sky. So stunning. Thanks for your photos. I’m gonna take a trip there.

    • Michael, you will love it up there. I want to stop by again since there are more spots I want to visit.

    • I am glad you feel like that!

  34. What a romantic place !!! I’m totally in love with your photos.
    Thank you for sharing us this place, Ruth 🙂 I’m gonna come to there next weekend with my family for a picnic 😀

    • It is a great place to go with the family. Hope you enjoy it (with your family of course).

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