The beach at June Lake is perfect for lazy summer days splashing around on the shallow turquoise shores. The beach is perfect for kids and families and especially small children because of the close parking, designated swim area, bathrooms, volleyball net, fire pit, barbeque, picnic tables, and even a handicapped accessible walkway. The shore is shallow, perfect for swimming, floating, or even launching a kayak or paddleboard. You can also fish from the shore, making it a fun spot for the whole family. To access the beach, go to the Oh Ridge campgrounds. At the kiosk, tell them you are going to the beach and follow the signs to the parking area.
Nothing is more exciting than watching a youngster catch their first fish. Any child under the age of 16 can fish for free anywhere in the June Lake Loop during the general trout season (begins the last Saturday in April and is open until November 15th). Grab them gear from Ernie’s Tackle and head out to your new favorite fishing spot. For kids, we recommend Gull Lake fisherman’s trail or the shores of Silver Lake. Here are several articles on June Lake fishing.
Hiking with kids can be awesome if you plan it the right way. Do not overwhelm kids by picking out a long or strenuous hike. A great hike to get the little bodies acclimated to the high altitude is the Gull Lake Trail. Start at the parking lot at Gull Lake Park and take this pretty flat trail around Gull Lake. Other good hikes for kids are the Parker Lake Trail, Lundy Canyon, or 20 Lakes Basin Trail. See our staff picks for our favorite hiking trails for more info on these. The 20 Lakes basin trail may be lengthy for young kids, but it is always a treat to take the ferry across Saddlebag Lake when it is open. To make hikes easier for younglings, we recommend frequent rest stops and plenty of tasty snacks.
If you and your kids like biking be sure to try the mountain bike trails and courses at Mammoth Mountain. A chairlift carries you and your bike up to the top of the hill just like it would when you ski. Then from the top, you ride down long clear runs with fun obstacles to make things more challenging. Don’t worry about lugging bikes up on the drive with you. Footloose Sports in Mammoth rents mountain bikes and gear. Also, if you aren’t as interested in biking, Mammoth Mountain has the Adventure Center, which offers zip lines, rock climbing walls, and play equipment. First-time mountain bike riders always love the beginner trails next to the Adventure Center.
Taking a guided horseback adventure is the perfect way to see June Lake while letting your child try something new. The Frontier Pack station is located by Silver Lake and offers daily horse rides. From the station, the horses head up the hillside, which gives riders spectacular Sierra views while saving them from having to hike steep trails. Frontier pack station offers rides by the hour starting at $40 or you can go for the whole day into the backcountry for around $120. Even if your child is timid about getting onto a horse, just petting and seeing them up close can be enough of an adventure. Park right off of Highway 158 by Silver Lake and you will be able to see the horses and mules. The horses are only in June Lake between the months of June to September.
If you’re visiting during the wintertime, taking the kids to June Mountain for skiing or snowboarding is a must. All kids under 12 ski free at June Mountain. Their Ski and Snowboard School program strives to teach kids techniques to safely enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Unlike Mammoth Mountain, June is uncrowded and stress-free – a comfortable environment for beginners of all ages. Also, every Saturday afternoon is Bucky’s Bonfire at the Chalet. There is an outdoor fire pit, games, face painting and helmet decorating, free cookies and hot cocoa, as well as an appearance by Bucky himself and a chance to ski with him!
Need to get out of the cold? Every day from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM and 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM, the Double Eagle Resort and Spa opens up its indoor pool and Jacuzzi for kids. There is a fee to swim, but it is a great way for kids to get all their pent up energy out. The area offers lounge chairs for parents, a shower with shampoo and conditioner, and bathrooms to make it convenient for families. The beautiful setting makes for a relaxing time after a long day skiing or hiking.
Sledding makes fantastic memories for your kids. There are tons of fun hills around June to pick from and most of June Lake Accommodations’ properties provide sleds or saucers. A favorite sledding spot is about 6 miles south of June Lake on Highway 395. Off to the right of the Highway is a large parking area right at the trailhead of popular cross-country ski trails. Here there is a large hill that always has plenty of snow. Kids can climb to the top, or climb a short way up for optimal sledding speed. For a more formal sledding hill, complete with groomed lanes and conveyor belt to transport sledders to the top of the hill, head to Woolly’s Tubing Park near Mammoth Mountain. There are warmed decks, a snow play area, and even warm drinks and snacks.
Although you could ice skate on Silver Lake or Gull Lake, if conditions were right, we recommend ice skating at the Mammoth Lakes ice skating rink. Here, you can rent skates and pay a small fee to skate on a smooth rink.
There are so many activities and adventures for your kids to discover here in June Lake! Someday they will look forward to bringing their children too. Start your family tradition today!