The Ultimate Guide to June Lake Camping

The Ultimate Guide to June Lake Camping


George Cummings
November 25, 2021

California is home to some of the world’s best camping destinations and June Lake in the Mono County of its Eastern Sierra region is no exception.

This hotspot is on the bucket list of many campers and it has a whole lot to offer, no matter your outdoor experience.

What is June Lake camping like? The southern shore of June Lake is the most popular spot for camping and lets you experience nature walks, fishing, kayaking, boating, hiking, and more.

The campsite allows for filtered views of the water and breathtaking landscape all around, with just 27 camping spots on the public grounds.

If you want to experience the traditional California camping landscape that this state is famous for, there’s no better place than June Lake.

This guide to camping there will show you its most popular sights, options for accommodation, and what you can expect on your next adventure there.

The Geography of June Lake

The Geography of June Lake

June Lake is located in the Eastern Sierra region of California and its geography is fairly typical for what you’d expect in this area.

Located in Mono County, it’s found on the rim of the Mono Basin and has an elevation of 7564 feet, which makes it popular with those who like hiking and camping.

The community of June Lake travels along a five-mile stretch of road that follows the 158 and is known as the June Lake Loop Road.

The looped valley that encompasses the land was formed by glaciers and it features many other branches of hills and canyons, and the backdrop is beautiful.

June Lake is also home to many rivers, creeks, and basins, as well as the lake and popular campgrounds, which are located between two marinas.

You’ll find many spring-fed lakes to explore and a sprawling mountain range, so it’s quintessentially Californian in all aspects and a great camping destination.

Popular Things to Do

Popular Things to Do

If you’re lucky enough to stay at June Lake Campground on the southern shore, you’ll find yourself within close distance to its best attractions.

From here, you can access the top fishing spots, rent a boat, enjoy some water sports, and get involved in a bunch of outdoor activities.

Those with an RV or hiking boots can explore even further, and if you follow the lake around you’ll get to the Oh! Ridge beach and day area.

You can also visit the main town of June Lake and grab a bite to eat, chat to the locals, or purchase whatever you need from their smaller supermarkets.

Hiking is a popular pastime at June Lake with visitors wanting to check out neighboring Fern Lake and Parker Lake by foot.

You could also bring along a bicycle or hire one and ride the June Lake Loop Road to get a true sense of what the amazing area has to offer.

Any type of outdoor activity you can dream up is possible at June Lake, so it’s one of the best choices for those who like to stay active while they hike.

Accommodation Options at June Lake

Accommodation Options at June Lake

The most popular place to stay at June Lake is at the official June Lake Campground. At these grounds, you’ll find 27 camping spots, with four of these reserved for tents only.

The other sites are quite small and would only fit more compact RVs and trailers, so make sure you do the measurements before heading there.

Another great camping spot at June Lake is the Oh! Ridge Campground.

This one is located at the eastern end of June Lake and gives you a more elevated view, so you’re able to see June Lake, Carson Peak, and the rest of the mountain backdrop.

You’ll also be in close proximity to the day area and beach, with both just a short stroll away.

If you’re looking to stay a little out of the way of June Lake, and possibly even boondock, there are other options.

Inyo Craters Campground, Gladys Lake Backcountry, and Inyo National Forest Dispersed Camping can give you a more private camping experience while still enjoying the landscape that June Lake is famous for.

The Best Time to Visit

The Best Time to Visit

As a California campground whose main drawcard is fishing and water sports, there are some months better than others for visiting June Lake.

The high season starts in April when fishing season also commences, and you’ll want to go from late April to late October for the best weather.

If you do plan on traveling during the high season, you’ll need to get in early with bookings.

As the campgrounds have a maximum two-week stay limit and less than 30 campsites, most travelers find that booking the season prior is the best way to guarantee a spot at this popular lake.

Those wanting a cooler visit to June Lake can still travel over winter but won’t be able to stay at the official campground as it closes for the season.

However, there are spots on the June Lake Loop where you will be able to set up a spot and witness the beauty of the ice-capped mountains at this time of year.

Tips for a Trip to June Lake

Tips for a Trip to June Lake

Before you take a trip to any new destination, you want to learn everything you can about it.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some facts that can help you while planning a trip to June Lake so you can make the most of every day there.

  • Reservations for the camp sites here open at least six months before the date of your planned stay. With a shortage of camping spots at the public grounds, we recommend attempting to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. The basic spots costs around $20 a night, with powered and non-powered sights available.
  • The township of June Lake is not as large as you’d think, so the nearby town of Mammoth Lakes may be your best bet if you’re looking to do some serious shopping. There is a hardware store and grocery store as well as some smaller specialties stores and galleries in June Lake, and it’s not considered a retail destination.
  • Those wanting a break from camping can check out some of the up-scale resorts and lodges in the area. Otherwise, you can book in for a spa treatment or massage one day and head back to your humble camping spot when it’s done.
  • If you’re heading to June Lake for its fishing, the place to head is the upper part of Owens River. With an abundance of mountain lakes, it’s the perfect place for fly fishing and regular fishing, and there are lots of helpful locals who can show you the best location to throw a line in.
  • A visit to June Lake during winter opens up a whole new world of possibilities for this area. Take a ride on the chairlift, go skiing on the slopes, or visit the mountain chalets and lodges for a winter party and hot beverage.

Put June Lake On Your Bucket List

If you want something beautiful, unassuming, and quintessentially Californian, there’s no better place than June Lake to visit.

This amazing spot has picture-perfect weather and views of the mountains and water that are to die for, plus lots to keep the outdoor adventurer busy.

Related Questions

California has no shortage of great camping destinations on offer, and many people flock to the state just to see what’s on offer.

If you’ve been thinking about taking a camping trip to California, we’ve answered a few questions that can give you the basics you need to know.

Can You Take Dogs Camping in California?

Dogs are allowed to come along on camping trips to most of the national forest campgrounds in California.

However, you should check with the specific campground you’re visiting first and take note of any restrictions on breeds, and whether your pooch will need to wear a leash the entire time.

Can You Sleep In Your Car in California?

Can You Sleep In Your Car in California?

California’s State Department of Transportation allows visitors and residents to sleep in their car for eight hours at designated rest stops, but not usually anywhere else.

Each city and county of California has its own laws about what’s allowed, so it’s best to check in the area you’re staying for specific legislation.

What Are the Camping Laws in California?

The Public Lands in California welcome campers to stay for no more than 14 days in a 28 day period, and this includes dispersed camping.

Before choosing a camping spot, check that it’s possible to stay there and whether the land is managed, as there may be rules to adhere to.


George Cummings

George Cummings enjoys connecting with nature, meeting new people, and making friends from all over the world. RVing and camping create the perfect opportunity for [him/her] to take part in these activities. After spending several years on the road and exploring the great outdoors, George Cummings shares some of his best pieces of advice on how to make the most of your time while camping. TourTheOutdoors is his way of helping outdoorsy individuals like [him/her] start on a right footing with amazing recommendations and buying guides.