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June Lake four seasons ski area

Did you know the first ski lift in June Lake was a rope tow that was not on June Mountain?

Even today, not many people are aware that one of the first ski areas in California was on an unassuming hillside in the High Sierras of the Inyo National Forest, just outside June Lake, California. This historic ski area was named Four Seasons and there still exists today remnants of the original rope tow. Today, if you’re looking for a pure ski-in ski-out cross-country experience on fantastic snow, consider renting one of the five A-Frame cabin rentals located at the original site at the bottom of the hill. Four Seasons may be a long forgotten ski hill destination with a history, but you’ll enjoy staying in these vacation cabin rentals for a wonderful vacation during all four seasons.

Four Seasons is the Perfect Name

This location in the forest is a nature-lover’s paradise and ideal place to enjoy the Eastern Sierra all four seasons of the year. From this location there is backcountry skiing, leisurely hikes and quiet evenings listening to the summer breeze through the trees. Four Seasons sits between two alpine lakes full of Brown Trout. Silver Lake and Gull Lake are both within 1.5 miles, and the popular June Lake is only another mile. And if you need a ski lift and a fantastic mountain to ski on, head just down the road 1 mile to the June Lake Ski Area.

Forgotten History of Four Seasons Ski Area

The rich history of Four Seasons at June Lake was as a getaway for Hollywood’s elite during the early part of last century. Back then, the Four Seasons ski slope had a 2,200 foot rope tow. And while the rope tow is no longer there, at one time it pulled enthusiastic skiers from the big city up the powder-heavy slopes. Contrary to popular belief, the original Four Seasons location was not located at present-day June Mountain Ski Area. The historic Four Seasons is located a short distance “down canyon” about a quarter mile.   

In those days, a rope tow meant a hemp rope on pulleys that you held on to with your hands, clenching for dear life before you either made it to the top, or in most cases, gave in to pain or  gravity. Can you imagine the likes of Clark Gable and Betty Grable, both known to frequent the bustling town, getting yanked 600 feet up a powdery hillside before succumbing to the primitive ski equipment of the day? Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. Like much of June Lake, the stories vary depending on who you talk to, who remembers what, and of course, a few generations of embellishment for good measure. 

Backcountry Out Your Back Door

Snowshoeing or hiking up the open fields of this long abandoned ski area is a great way to spend a few hours. Farther up you’ll get into the thicker old growth Douglas Fir and really enjoy the June Lake backcountry. The physical address of the charming A-Frame cabin rentals is 24 Venice Street in June Lake. These cabins are located just off the main road called June Lake Loop.

Vacationers stay in these real mountain cabins to enjoy four seasons of fun, and during the winter months, there are opportunities to enjoy fantastic power. The North facing aspect of the slope tends to attract some of the best powder along this mountain range, including June Mountain. With the North facing slopes, the powder lasts far longer than much of the surrounding topography. Remember this in case you are skiing from the cabins for an incredible ski-in ski-out experience: these slopes are not protected by the ski patrol. You are on your own, so please let people know of your plans and estimated time of return. In this neck of the woods, you are responsible for your own safety, but with good safety practices, you’ll be rewarded with excellent backcountry skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. 

History and Natural Wonders

Once the snow melts, an assortment of beautiful hiking trails open up. We have a short list of favorite hiking trails near June Lake. Trails are multi-use so look forward to seeing the occasional hiker, biker, and pet owner. At the Four Seasons cabins, a walking trail traverses the sage and rabbit brush in and out of forested gullies and along the creeks as the trail leads either to the Double Eagle Resort and Spa down the canyon, or into the Town of June Lake. Remnants of the old rope tow can be found on the hillside should you venture off trail and wind your way through the open spaces of this hidden area. We’ve also heard that arrowheads from the native Piute Indian tribes can be discovered. Keep an eye out for Osprey, Golden Eagles and Bald Eagles circling overhead.

With a location all but hidden from the rest of June Lake, if you are looking for peace and quiet, the Four Seasons could be just the ticket. Whether you are staying in the historic A-Frame cabins with their private decks and majestic views of towering Carson Peak, or simply looking for a place to get even further away from the crowds, this is one of those special places that not many people talk about. And keep your eyes and ears open for who knows what you’re going to stumble upon. 

Vacation Accommodations in June Lake

You’re going to love staying in one of these cabin rentals in June Lake. The Inyo National Forest is right off the back porch of each cabin. Views go into the High Sierra and the John Muir Wilderness. The night sky is intensely bright, especially on no moon nights. Our small town offers plenty of “home town” accommodations including vacation homes and vacation condos. All rentals are very clean and well maintained, very affordable; and all are close to Gull Lake and June Lake. We also have pet friendly vacation rentals. Are you looking for a romantic weekend or an extended stay with family and friends? Hoping to catch a “lunker” trout, go skiing on June Mountain, test your skills on the hiking trails, or bike the June Lake loop? Whatever your vacation desires may be, let us help you book a June Lake Accommodation that will keep you coming back years from now. Call us today, or book online. Call the friendly staff at (760) 648-1919 to plan your next vacation. They will be happy to help you.

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