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Rainbow Ridge

Discover Magical Scenery Between Two Summits On Rainbow Ridge

June Mountain rises to over 10,000 feet with Rainbow Ridge connecting its two summits for extraordinary High Sierra scenery.

There are many colorful names to learn when you visit the High Sierra Nevada mountains of  California. And sometimes it takes a little detective work to find out the origins of some of these names. Like Rainbow Ridge. Here, the name evokes images of a beautiful, high elevation mountain top area, but there isn’t a lot of information about how Rainbow Ridge got its name. But indeed, visit this ridge trail anytime of the year and you are sure to discover the magic of fantastic mountain scenery. 

view from june mountain rainbow ridge

Rainbow Summit and June Mountain Summit

Rainbow Ridge connects the two summits of June Mountain Ski Area. Rainbow Summit is 10,400 feet, and June Mountain Summit is 10,090 feet high. Rainbow Ridge is the access trail you take after jumping off either chairlift 7 up from the Chalet or chairlift 4 and 6. When you leave chairlift 7, be sure to look at the spectacular views you will see as you careen across the relatively flat Rainbow Ridge. From Rainbow Ridge you can see Carson Peak, the Negatives, Mono Lake and June Lake Village. In fact, since the June Lake Loop lies very close to Yosemite National Park, from Rainbow Ridge you can glimpse parts of the John Muir trail. Looking out from Rainbow Ridge towards the Sierra Crest, you can almost hear the crowds at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area to the south.

Owens River Wilderness

In the summer, if you take the Glass Creek Trail, you will actually be hiking directly below Rainbow Ridge. Rainbow Ridge forms part of the recently established Owens River Wilderness drainage. And in fact, the area below Rainbow Ridge is the actual head waters of the Owens River. The Owens River runs from the High Sierra all the way down to the Owens Valley fifty miles away. It eventually disappears into the alkaline Owens Lake. The human history of the Owens River is interesting because the river is part of the water system for the City of Los Angeles, three hundred miles away.
If you visit the Owens River Wilderness area during the spring you will be treated to an amazing array of wild flowers. There are several dominant peaks nearby, including the impressive White Wing which is covered with white tephra, a volcanic material from the days that Obsidian Dome was part of an active volcano. You can hike to the top of Rainbow Ridge from several locations in the summer if you are ambitious. You will be rewarded with the same spectacular views that you get during the winter.

The Rainbow Ridge Name

So now that you know where Rainbow Ridge is and how to access it from several locations it is time to find out how Rainbow Ridge got its name. As stated above, Rainbow Ridge connects Rainbow Summit and  June Mountain Summit. The locals assume Rainbow Mountain got its name because of its shape. Doing a little more research about mountain formations will lead one to find that a ridge is a long, narrow elevation of land, a chain of hills or mountains. It is also the long and narrow upper edge, angle, or crest of something, as a hill, wave, or vault.  So it certainly stands to reason that the ridge connecting  Rainbow Summit and June Mountain Summit would be called Rainbow Ridge. 
The high Sierra is perhaps one of the most beautiful places on earth. It has an spectacular geological and interesting human history. It has been crossed by miners and naturalists. It is the home to people who love nature and are willing to make a life far from the bustle of the big cities. There are many wonderful vantage points from which to view the beauty of the Sierra Crest. You will never be disappointed if your view is from Rainbow Ridge. 

Vacation Rentals in June Lake

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. Many are 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, or test your skills on the hiking trails? Whatever your vacation desires may be, let us help you book a June Lake vacation that will keep you coming years from now. Call us today, or book online.

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