Explore the most popular wildlife trails near June Lake with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We took the Reds Meadow Resort path back to Shuttle stop #10 which is recommended to get out because it is the last shuttle stop and usually fills up the shuttles leaving the area. The trail to the base of the Falls is closed now for 2018 for rerouting and restructuring and will reopen in 2019. Air quality was fine despite the fires but it was dry, hot and windy so bring enough water. The waterfall was beautiful and well worth the hike according to my seven year old! This trail has a steeper incline on the way back than to the Rainbow Falls trailhead so thats always an option to get to another shuttle stop too.

did the loop today it was a great hike, uphill wasn't that bad, was harder walking down the road back.

great hike, I probably went 12 miles because I stayed on the trail past Spooky meadow to the one higher where I broke trail. had to push through creekside willows then rock scrambled to get below the notch in the ridge. came back along west side of Spooky meadow which was far easier. Great views from the peak.

hiking
15 days ago

Fairly new to all this, (city dweller) now 61. Great hike. Needed to start earlier, got to over 80°. Made it 2.5 miles before our water (Turbo and I) was depleted. We'll go better prepared on our next attempt to the peak. Still beautiful and good for my soul!

hiking
18 days ago

This trail was steep and challenging the first two miles however the view made up for it. It was very rewarding! Once you reach the ski resort, the trail gets lost and it’s difficult to stay on track. I recommend using the app to guide you. My bf and I had to follow other trails that were more manageable and connected to the main trail eventually. Overall, I recommend this hike :-)
Tip:
Wear good hiking shoes ( I wore my favorite hiking sandals but it began to rain and my feet got muddy)

Get your permit for the trailhead and at the ranger office per wilderness area They do want to know your loosely projected itinerary, but you're not held to it. If you are starting on the east side, get one from an Inyo ranger station, even if you plan to cross into Yosemite. If starting in Tuolumne, get a Yosemite permit, etc. I did the Minaret Creek, Ediza, Garnet, Thousand Island loop from Silver Lake with side trips to Davis Lakes, Alger Lakes, Koip Peak, Lake Catherine, Nydiver. Phenomenal.

We did this as a backpacking trip on July 7, 2017 as a three day hike. We picked up permits at the USFS Mt Whitney ranger station - they have walk in permits reserved starting at 11am. The permit is for Rush Creek trail at Agnew lake specifically. Parked at the rush creek trail head at Silver Lake on the June Lake Loop. The first few miles are the most climbing of the trip if you go counter clockwise. We spent the night at Gem lake and took a nice dip in the water and spotted a bald eagle fishing right in front of us. It was great to be able to bring the dog. Bear canister required. (Or may counterbalance). Second day went around Gem lake, we actually turned up to Waugh lake which adds more mileage and climbing but we loved the view. Mosquitos and flies were CRAZY. Almost unbearable when walking by water- which you do a lot. Would recommend 100% deet and mosquito netting and sleeves. Full coverage. Spent night #2 at Thousand island lake and swam in the water. Last day went back PCT up to Clark lakes and swam there and refilled water. A little bit of a climb but great views. The way down rush creek trail towards Agnew was steep and rocky - difficult for the dogs pads. Stopped at the dam for refueling and finished the hike down with a stop in Silver lake to swim! A GREAT three day hike. Be prepared for bugs. Pack everything out :)

backpacking
1 month ago

This was an amazing trail, but a difficult one. Hubby and I were bringing in packs for an overnight stay, but even with day packs it would have been difficult. The first mile or so is straight uphill, with loose rock and a steep, steep incline. In the heat, I had a lot of difficulty getting up the trail.

That said, the payoff at the end is spectacular. It's worth spending the night (be prepared for the overnight chill!) if you can't leave early in the morning, or even just to spend the night. The lakeside camp area was closed when we arrived, so we set up camp down the trail a little way.

The lake is gorgeous, but mosquitoes clearly think so too, and they are abundant there, so be sure to bring bug spray for you and your pets (we were packing in with 5 dogs, and bug-sprayed the heck out of them). If you're planning on spending the night, be sure to stop at a ranger station and get a wilderness and fire permit. Camping without one in the national forest is not allowed.

A word of caution to the driver of whatever vehicle takes you to the trailhead - it's a rough road. If you can, take a car with decent ground clearance. If you can't, know that my little Hyundai Accent made it up, but we had to drive about 5 mph when the paving on the road vanished. Some of the washouts are pretty bad.

Parking at the trailhead is limited, but we were able to find a spot on a Sunday afternoon.

Overall this made for a great hike, and I highly recommend it :)

on Obsidian Dome Trail

1 month ago

I love this hike it’s so different from most

1 month ago

Nice trail, would rather ride horseback!

The climb was relentless but the views and scenery are worth it! Start early because you don’t want to be climbing up the first 2000’ in the hot sun with little shade. The mosquitoes were really bad this time of year, especially at Clark Lake! Really glad we did the loop instead of out and back. We took lots of breaks, took a dip in the cold water below Thousand Island Lake, and stopped to talk to lots of thru-hikers, so it took us 11 hours.

Nice, challenging day hike. The first .75 miles is real steep and will get your blood pumping but it levels out after that, then alternates on off. The altitude gain is real and the last mile to the top was a real struggle but the views are worth it and the rock scrambling at the top is fun. Be sure to set out early ish - it took me about 3.5 hours, not including break for lunch, and 95% of the hike is not shaded.

Pat Ribotto - I'm a little confused on the ANYO Permit request for overnighting on the Loop. Did you get permits for all the areas your traveled on this Loop or was just one needed that included all areas on the loop.

backpacking
2 months ago

I proposed to have this trail added to AllTrails because it's a great alternative to the Norris trailhead in the early season that still ends at the Jackass Lakes. Not having done Norris, I can't compare the difficulty. Early season meant a little snow on the ground, but only in the shady areas. Not on the trail.
Getting there - it takes about an hour and a half to drive back Beasore Road after you turn off from Bass Lake. The road is unpaved at times, but I don't have 4WD and it was not an issue. But if rain is in your forecast, call the ranger for a road report. Make sure you either load the route into your Google Maps app before you lose service, or keep an eye on mileage so you know when to expect the parking lot. There is a large trail head sign for Jackass Trail head - you just start guessing the meaning of life that far back a dirt road and if you missed it some how.
The trail - the elevation climb is no joke. We did it in 2 hours with our packs on which sounds like cake to the experienced. When you start out, you're pretty pumped to be heading out, so you tend to not let it phase you. Just keep a trekking pole handy. We met a dad and daughter at the lakes, she was 10 and it was her first over nighter. So take that for what it's worth. Trail has a lot of shade, but some open hot spots as well if the sun is out. Since we went up so early in the season, some of the trail was hard to follow - look for stacked rocks to keep you on track. You shouldn't have much of an issue. Props to the USFS for going out there and clearing the trail - lots of fallen trees over the winter.
The lakes - lower Jackass Lake is great. I won't even try to explain the views, too incredible for words. There were 2 other campers up there, so 3 total sites set up along the lake and that was a good capacity. There is an upper Jackass Lake, we hiked to it the next day. You can see it on the map here. It was still frozen over but totally stunning. Again - views on views. Hike will make your glutes talk.

hiking
3 months ago

One of the best places to see a hill of solid obsidian - beautiful black glass - although it just looks like rock until you break it open - don't remove it. Wear good shoes. 11 miles north of Mammoth Lakes up I-395 from the I-395 and CA-203 intersections, take a left on Obsidian Dome road, and it is 2.7 miles up Obsidian, Glass Flow, and Glass Creek Rds. Dirt road to parking area; hike starts down and to the right of the dome and up a gravel bulldozed hill that takes you into the cone at the top. Really good description here: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/long_valley/long_valley_sub_page_19.html [along with directions - coordinates - about 37°44.810' N, 119°01.305' W]. The hike is easy, looks like a hill up to a rock quarry. Nice distant views from the top.

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent hike through the snowy woods. I feel that this hike is really best during late April when you have the beautiful snow capping the mountains and the volcano itself.

The hike begins at Reds Meadow Resort. It continues gradually downhill toward the San Joaquin river. You cross Boundary Creek a little over half way to the upper viewing area. We were there in October 2017, the lower viewing area was closed for repairs, but the views of Rainbow Falls and valley down stream are worth the walk. Enjoy!

backpacking
5 months ago

I backpacked through this trail a few years back before it was on alltrails. I was hoping to keep traffic down on it, so I never added it. Now that it IS on alltrails I guess Ill give my opinion. This is my all time favorite trail for a weekend trip! its a pretty good climb up to Lower Sardine lake, but well worth it. There are some beautiful water falls on the way up and the fishing at lower sardine was awesome. We caught 4 fish (brookies)in a matter of 15 mins. We camped at Lower Sardine the first night, there is a good spot at the North end of,the lake. I recommend climbing up to Upper Sardine and checking out the view from up there. We were getting picked up in Yosemite, so we continued over to Parker Pass and camped a second night over there. The light blue waters in the surrounding ponds were really cool.

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

The Trailhead is from Walker Lake, you need to drive to the Walker Lake campground along Forrest Road 1S23. This road is a dirt road in reasonable condition, although when we went there was some residual storm damage from the winter, but our Toyota mini-van did manage the drive and by the time we left they had filled in the worst divets.

There is a nice campground at the end of the road, it will be obvious when you get there. A pit toilet is there and nice small campground if you want to spend the night before you set off. You start walking through the campground and within 50 feet on your right the trailhead takes you up immediately a small hill from which you can look down to Walker lake. You immediately start down a steep incline until you reach the bottom along the shore of Walker Lake. The trail is well marked and easy to follow.

The hike up to Lower Sardine Lake takes you every upwards with nice switchbacks, but this trail is not heavily used and parts are not well maintained. Small areas are washed out, fallen trees along trail and areas of significant overgrowth of brush. You will have 4 stream crossings and this year with the historical rains a few will challenge your balance with a heavy pack. Lots of wild flowers along the trail and the pleasant scents of wild oregano liven the senses. We did not scout any significant campsites at lower Sardine lake and went on to Upper Sardine. This is the most difficult part of the trail. Ice and Snow cover some of the most steep sections of trail and there is lots of scree and loose rocks to navigate to get up to Upper Sardine lake. This small section after already going up 2000 feet taxed us greatly.
At Upper Sardine Lake there are actually two lakes, plenty of quality campsites can be found, but the best are at the second of the two lakes which is actually Upper Sardine Lake. Great views of Mono Lake are a treat from the ridges on the east side of Upper Sardine lake (which is where the good campsites are). Upper Sardine has great quality fresh water that is constantly being fed from streams above.

We dropped our packs on day two and made the easy hike to Mono Pass and into Yosemite. This part of the trail is easy and beautiful. We then hiked to Parker Pass at 11,000 feet.

The hike out of Bloody Canyon was a real grind due to the areas of iced trail and attempting to find safe routes down the steepest, rockiest parts of the trail. As others have indicated the hike back up to the Walker Lake Campground from Walker Lake is a real work-out. It is a nice trail, but very few switchbacks and just straight back up to the campsite, it is a great cardiac stress test with a full pack.
Enjoy

hiking
Sunday, June 25, 2017

Amazing geological site with intense views. The giant chunks of obsidian are amazing.

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

I would only recommend this trail as an out and back, and only if you are looking for a good workout in the first 2 miles of elevation climb. My suggestion would be to turn around once you hit the ski resort. The trail is not marked at all after this so unless you have the GPS loaded with the map, you will either take an unshaded dirt road all the way back, or find yourself on federal land. The actual trail back, should you find it, is in poor condition with the remaining section leaving you walking on the shoulder of the road. The first 2 miles do offer nice views of the lake and shaded forest, and like I said it was a great workout for the first 1200 feet or so of straight up elevation climb with only a few switchbacks along the way.

hiking
Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Great views, the quintessential June Lake experience. Loved the change in landscape we got with the changes in elevation. There's a little bit of everything from desert sagebrush to evergreens and aspen grooves. There were some snow patches and seasonal streams and temporary lakes made of snowmelt. Paused the recorder a few times to take it all in and forgot to unpause so my recording is a bit spotty. We ended at the closed ski resort and then took the service road back down. Did not see another soul until we got to town. Walked back to our car through town with a pit stop at June Lake Brewing. Great hike to see all this area has to offer!

hiking
Monday, May 22, 2017

Trail and parking starts out across the street from the fire station. Steep start but levels out. The trail was still a bit snowy as it was a record snowfall season. Once we made it to the ski resort it was too snowy to continue to the Yost Creek Trail so we took the dirt road down until we hit the cutback trail into town, this was all dry. To top off the afternoon we had O'Hana's Food Truck and June Lake Brewing! :)

backpacking
Monday, February 13, 2017

My wife and I hiked this loop last July and it is one my favs for sure. The Ritter Range is something to see. I mapped out this route myself and it turned out to be a good one. We were going to spend 6 nights, but we cut it short by one night as we had done all we wanted to anyway. Starting at Silver Lake, it climbs steady to Agnew Lake, then another pretty good climb from there to Gem Lake. It mellows out a bit after Gem Lake as it follows Rush creek thru the woods towards Waugh Lake A really nice stretch right there. One last little pitch to get up to Waugh Lake and then a nice walk around the north side of the lake. We made this our first nights spot. There weren't a ton of camp spots, but there are a few as you get to the west end of the lake. Pretty windy all day our first day, and that night as well. The next day we packed up and were headed for Garnet Lake as our next stop. Once on the JMT, we started our climb to Island Pass. What a great view from up there in all directions. Great photos from this spot. Then down to 1000 Island Lake. All the lakes were great. Each one with it's own character to it. The view of Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak just kept changing the further south we walked along the JMT. Then we did another little up and down stretch between 1000 Island Lake and Garnet Lake. Finding a nice spot to camp at Garnet lake was a little more difficult. I did find what looked to be a possibility on Google earth before we left home, and that's where we wound up. No shade, but it had all the other criteria. Close to water, a level spot for the tent and privacy. The next mornings reflection shots on the lake were perfect. Worth getting up early for. From Garnet we hiked along the JMT until the cutoff to Ediza Lake. That was our 3rd and 4th nights destination. Again, found my camp spot from my research on Google earth. Great spot and we enjoyed our 2 nights there. On our off day, we hiked up to Iceberg Lake, and hoped to get to Cecile as well. But the amount of snow along the south east shore of Iceberg was such that I wasn't risking a slide into the lake. We settled for that as being our furthest point on this trip. Incredible spot with the Minarets right in your face . Then back to our campsite after and I wanted to do one more jaunt. So up towards Banner and Ritter I went. My wife bowed out of this one. Another incredible spot to be standing right below these two peaks. Water pouring down everywhere from above. Had the place to myself. High country at its best. The next day we packed up and headed down Shadow creek all the way to the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River. We crossed the bridge over the river and then got on the river trail north. We hiked all the way to the Clark Lakes that day. A long haul, and Agnew pass at the very end was something we hadn't planned on. Super steep and really kicked our butts. I again found our camp spot from previous searches on Google earth. Great spot with a huge view. The next morning we hiked back to our truck down a really steep trail, back past Agnew Lake on the opposite side , and then back to Silver Lake on the last 2 miles or so that we had been on before. Great loop. Another Sierra hike off the list. This area of the Ansel Adams Wilderness is a must do!!

walking
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

As the previous review stated this is NOT an actual trail/hike. You will come to a private property dead end very early on. When no trespassing signs also contain pictures of shotguns, we comply.

walking
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The road you take to get to the trail per the description takes you to a private residence which has very clear NO TRESPASSING signs posted. Others said just go through the property, but we are not comfortable with that so we did not proceed any further. Looks like you could access the trail from the June Lake day use area and not have to go across private property

scenic driving
Sunday, June 28, 2015

This listing is a bit misleading, June Lake Loop is a 21 mile bypass ROAD, highway 158, very much a requirement if you are driving near Mono Lake on Hwy 395 in eastern CA. There are great access trails to the same areas people usually get to through Devil's Postpile / Agnews Meadow. Look at the Rush Creek Trailhead, for example, the hike up to Lake Agnew is a great gateway to this awesome Sierra Nevada backcountry.

And yes if you are riding your bike on Highway 158 be really careful the drivers are looking up at the steep granite glaciated walls of this awesome canyon, not you on your bike. Now there is also much shorter loop road around June Lake itself, just a few miles long, but that is just a part of the entire "June Lake Loop."

hiking
Thursday, December 12, 2013

Didn't go the whole way but still a very fun hike. Probation would be good to go biking on as well.

road biking
Monday, February 28, 2011

Spectacular Lakes and Views...!!!! However, extreme caution needs to be paramount due to very narrow shoulders for biking and the volume of vehicle traffic that can be experienced. Many side trails can be taken for hikes as well as trail running opportunities.

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