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Fall in June Lake, California

Even though summer’s officially over, a lot of outdoor fun can still be had in California's Eastern Sierras. Just 20 minutes north of Mammoth, on Highway 395, is the alpine town of June Lake at 7,621 feet. The village of 500 is surrounded on the south and west by 10,000-foot peaks, high desert plains to the north, and a dormant chain of volcanoes to the east. Fall trout fishermen, hunters, and backpackers will still find relaxing outdoor adventures.

The four lakes that make up the June Lake Loop – June, Gull, Silver and Grant – will be well stocked for shore and boat fishermen up to the close of the season on November 15. But by that time, locals are praying for an early snow, as the village's economy is dependent on a mid-December opening of ski season.

This past summer's newest attraction was the opening of the June Mountain chairlifts, where one could ride to the top of the ski mountain – 10,090 feet – and take in the panoramic views for miles in any direction. ($10 adults, $5 kids.) Open only around lunch hours, the lodge restaurant at the top of June Mountain served hot sandwiches, pastas and burgers, along with a full bar, at nominal prices. The menu was surprisingly more gourmet than the average skier would find in winter operations.

On the day we visited, as we enjoyed our lunch overlooking the lakes basin, known as Horseshoe Canyon, we spotted three bald eagles circling below – a mom and two fledglings – soaring beneath us. The trio made their home this summer on tall pine trees down-canyon at Silver Lake. For the last several years, bald eagles have been spotted in the June Lake area, but this is the first year they’ve been visible on a daily basis.

Based on the large number of visitors that took the summer lift this year, June Mountain has applied to the Forest Service for permits to also operate mountain bike trails next summer. Unfortunately for fall visitors, the lift closes after Labor Day, as the mountain gets ready for winter skiing.

What will be a surprise to many fall campers who regularly visit the area is the premature closure of the popular Silver Lake campground (which usually stays open to November 1). The campground was closed after Labor Day to finally fix two years of problems with the improper installation of upgraded, prefabbed restrooms and showers.

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Even though summer’s officially over, a lot of outdoor fun can still be had in California's Eastern Sierras. Just 20 minutes north of Mammoth, on Highway 395, is the alpine town of June Lake at 7,621 feet. The village of 500 is surrounded on the south and west by 10,000-foot peaks, high desert plains to the north, and a dormant chain of volcanoes to the east. Fall trout fishermen, hunters, and backpackers will still find relaxing outdoor adventures.

The four lakes that make up the June Lake Loop – June, Gull, Silver and Grant – will be well stocked for shore and boat fishermen up to the close of the season on November 15. But by that time, locals are praying for an early snow, as the village's economy is dependent on a mid-December opening of ski season.

This past summer's newest attraction was the opening of the June Mountain chairlifts, where one could ride to the top of the ski mountain – 10,090 feet – and take in the panoramic views for miles in any direction. ($10 adults, $5 kids.) Open only around lunch hours, the lodge restaurant at the top of June Mountain served hot sandwiches, pastas and burgers, along with a full bar, at nominal prices. The menu was surprisingly more gourmet than the average skier would find in winter operations.

On the day we visited, as we enjoyed our lunch overlooking the lakes basin, known as Horseshoe Canyon, we spotted three bald eagles circling below – a mom and two fledglings – soaring beneath us. The trio made their home this summer on tall pine trees down-canyon at Silver Lake. For the last several years, bald eagles have been spotted in the June Lake area, but this is the first year they’ve been visible on a daily basis.

Based on the large number of visitors that took the summer lift this year, June Mountain has applied to the Forest Service for permits to also operate mountain bike trails next summer. Unfortunately for fall visitors, the lift closes after Labor Day, as the mountain gets ready for winter skiing.

What will be a surprise to many fall campers who regularly visit the area is the premature closure of the popular Silver Lake campground (which usually stays open to November 1). The campground was closed after Labor Day to finally fix two years of problems with the improper installation of upgraded, prefabbed restrooms and showers.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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