June Lake

Community Development


  1. The Community Development Element primarily focuses on the Loop's physical development, but social issues are inherently influenced by the physical development patterns. The community's future growth will have social impacts on current and future residents.
  2. The community wants to minimize urban sprawl by allowing development to take place in designated sub-areas ringed by buffers of open space and recreational-use lands. The community envisions concentrating development in tightly knit satellite villages that support the higher density and more commercialized June Lake Village. In the past, residents and visitors indicated a desire for a moderately sized year-round, self-contained community.
  3. The Loop's growth is inhibited by the surrounding natural environment, the lack of privately owned land, and the desire to maintain its unique, mountain village character. These conditions necessitate controlled expansion, infill and recycling of the existing built environment.
  4. The June Lake Loop's economy has entered a transitional period. Summer use, primarily associated with fishing, currently generates the majority of the community's income, although current and future improvements to the June Mountain Ski Area are expected to bolster the winter economy.
  5. The large influx of seasonal residents, workers and visitors hinders accurate data representations of June Lake's population. The lack of data increases the difficulty of addressing the Loop's needs.
  6. The relatively small resident population, an estimated 630 persons (2010 Census), does not constitute a viable economic foundation. Studies have indicated that a population of 1,500 to 2,000 persons is needed to create a self-supporting consumer economy. Presently, most residents conduct their shopping in Mammoth Lakes or, when major purchases are involved, in Bishop or Reno.
  7. Improvements to the June Mountain Ski Area are intended to increase the mountain's capacity to the limits provided by the USFS special use permit, enhance the visitor experience, and promote increased visitation. Local accommodations, however, are not sufficient to handle the expected influx of ski-related visitors.
  8. Past ski area expansion proposals have considered developing areas south of June Mountain. Due to wilderness designations, these proposals are no longer under consideration. Currently, community interest in expanding the use of June Mountain to the summer season is high.

Land Use

  1. Land use plays a critical role in defining a community's appearance as well as protecting and maintaining the health and well-being of its citizens. Early land use practices allowed June Lake to develop with a minimum of capital improvements and a lack of regard for environmental constraints.
  2. The June Lake Village exhibits examples of diverse land uses. These include: commercial uses mixed with motel and residential development; the Village’s dense commercial district supported by inadequate roads and limited parking; and substandard development in the meadow area. Much of the development is also influenced by environmental constraints.
  3. Developable land within the June Lake Loop is limited by natural constraints and the limited supply of private lands. Up to this point, development has occurred on private lands surrounded by Inyo National Forest Lands. Steep canyon walls, sensitive wildlife habitat, and limited access routes also prevent development in many places.
  4. Land trades involving the USFS and private parties, the primary method of obtaining developable lands, are slow and cumbersome. Trades take a minimum of five years and often longer. This process limits the rate of future development, inflates local land cost, and restricts the supply of affordable housing.
  5. The USFS and the June Mountain Ski Area negotiated a 90-acre land exchange in the Rodeo Grounds area. Subsequent development triggered by this exchange will influence the character of the entire community.
  6. In the past, residents and visitors have desired the permanent protection of meadow and wetland areas along parts of SR 158 near Silver Lake and on the backshore of Gull Lake. The protection of riparian habitat along Rush Creek between Silver and Grant lakes and below Grant Lake, as well as along lakeshores, is also preferred.
  7. Planned development is concentrated in four areas throughout the June Lake Loop. The subareas include: the June Lake Village; Down Canyon; and the largely undeveloped West Village/Rodeo Grounds and Pine Cliff areas.


See the General Plan Housing Element for data and statistics regarding housing stock and demographics.

  1. The majority of the June Lake Loop's rental and affordable units exists in the Village.
  2. The construction of single-family residences on vacant lots comprises the majority of development activity. Obtaining financial backing for higher-density residential units such as apartments and condominiums has been problematic and has slowed their construction.
  3. In the past, June Lake residents, most of who reside in single-family homes and have lived in the community for several years, would like new housing units to consist of single-family homes, bed-and-breakfast establishments, and motels/hotels; condominiums were not highly regarded. Seasonal residents felt no additional housing was needed. Both groups identified the need for affordable housing.
  4. Housing or lodging facilities are oriented primarily to second-home owners and tourists, not to local housing needs.
  5. The Village and the Down Canyon areas contain most of the community's housing stock. Single-family homes, the dominant housing type, make up the majority of housing in the Down Canyon area. The Village has a more diverse mixture of housing, as it contains single- and multifamily residences, condominiums, apartments, motels, mobile homes, and lodges.
  6. The West Village and adjoining Rodeo Grounds are largely undeveloped at this time. This area contains the majority of undeveloped private land available for community expansion.

Community Facilities

  1. In the past, residents and visitors have desired more private and public amenities. Desired private amenities include more restaurants, entertainment facilities, food and retail stores, and a pharmacy; public amenities include healthcare facilities, local schools and recreational facilities (discussed in detail in the Recreation section).
  2. There are no public or private healthcare clinics within the June Lake Loop, and residents must travel for basic medical services. Mono County maintains a paramedic unit in June Lake to provide emergency medical response.
  3. The Mono County Health Department offers a full range of health services through its Mammoth Lakes and Bridgeport offices. The closest full-service general and emergency medical care facilities are located in Mammoth Lakes and Bishop, 22 and 60 miles south, respectively. Bridgeport, 42 miles north, also offers healthcare facilities.
  4. The June Lake Public Utility District, the operator of the loop-wide sewage system, indicates that the existing system, following key facility improvements, will have adequate capacity to meet the area's wastewater needs at full buildout (water-supply policies are contained in the Open Space and Conservation section).
  5. New technologies and capacity are available that could enhance and improve June Lake’s basic utilities, such as Digital 395.

Community Design

  1. According to a past community survey, visitors are attracted to the Loop for its natural, not built, environment. June Lake’s built environment relies strongly on the area’s natural features for visual distinction, and recent design work has focused on the aesthetic elements such as distinct landmarks and strong relationships among the town’s visual character.
  2. The June Lake Loop's built environment has a close physical association with SR 158, which strongly influences initial visitor perceptions of the community.
  3. Each of the Loop's developed areas has a unique character and relationship to the natural environment. In linking the Loop's built environment, it is equally important to strengthen the particular qualities of an individual district.

Wildlife and Habitat Resources

  1. Natural vegetation defines and supports several important resource values. Wildlife, water supply and quality, and scenic vistas, among others, depend upon the natural vegetation.
  2. Higher recreational use makes lakeshore and stream-bank vegetation more susceptible to human disturbance and damage.
  3. The protection and enhancement of natural habitats is a critical element in preserving and restoring the long-term existence of local wildlife. Riparian woodlands, wet meadows, marshlands, migration corridors and summering grounds are recognized as critical, highly localized wildlife habitat.
  4. The June Lake Loop is home to a number of special status plants and animals (see the MEA), and their habitats and populations should be conserved and protected.
  5. Trout fishing, one of the June Lake Loop's most popular and economically important recreational activities, must be protected and enhanced.

Water Supply

  1. Water rights held by and applied for by the JLPUD should be adequate to meet near future demands, but may be inadequate to meet demands at full buildout. The high cost of expanding water distribution and storage facilities rather than shortfalls in water rights limits the ability of the JLPUD to supply additional water.
  2. Concern exists over increasing domestic water diversions from developed surface water sources due to potential impacts to the surrounding riparian vegetation, biological resources and the quality of the area’s natural beauty.
  3. Insufficient data on the potential to expand existing surface water sources and to utilize groundwater resources hinders projections on meeting future demand.
  4. Projected domestic and fire protection water demands require the expansion of reservoir and distribution facilities by the JLPUD.

Storm Water Runoff

  1. Disturbances to existing vegetation and land coverage by impervious surfaces will increase as future development occurs. Runoff from these surfaces will aggravate existing storm drainage problems and result in increased ponding and flooding in the community's low-lying areas. It may also negatively impact water resources by increasing levels of silt, sediment and nutrients in surface waters.
  2. A significant increase in direct runoff to Reversed and Rush creeks may result in unnaturally high stream flows. Under certain conditions, these higher-than-normal flows will cause stream-bank erosions, re-suspension of settled solids and loss of habitat for resident populations of trout and insects.
  3. An increase in runoff over the surface and shoulders of unimproved dirt roads in the Down Canyon residential areas may result in the deposition of significant amounts of silt and other earthen materials in Reversed Creek, Rush Creek and Silver Lake.
  4. Where runoff from developed areas is by sheet flow over unprotected and unimproved road sections, excessive damage may occur to both road shoulders and road surfaces. Uncontrolled runoff over paved sections will cause premature degradation or failure of improved sections.
  5. Discharge of oil, grease and other petroleum products from developed lands, paved roads, parking areas and driveways contribute to the degradation of surface and groundwater quality. Negative impacts on water resources may harm the Loop's water-based recreational activities and the summer economy.
  6. Storm drain facilities have been upgraded with various projects, however, further improvements and system integration in the Village and Down Canyon areas would be beneficial.

Air Resources

  1. The high level of air quality is important to maintain. Winter temperature inversions can trap automobile emissions and emissions from wood fires and heating devices, potentially creating an unhealthful level of air quality.

Solid Waste:

This issue is addressed in the Integrated Waste Management Plan.

Cultural Resources

  1. The June Lake Loop contains a number of archeology sites and artifacts, and these cultural resources are important to preserve. Future development may increase the potential for disturbance of sites and artifacts.

Forest Resources

  1. Maintaining healthy forests are critical to the character and beauty of the June Lake Loop. Activities to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire, manage natural cycles of beetle kill, and generally protect forest health are a priority.

Recreational Resources

  1. The Inyo National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan designates the June Lake Loop as a concentrated recreational area. This designation outlines measures for recreational open spaces as well as calling for the expansion of recreational facilities. These are addressed in the Tourism Element.


  1. The existing Gull Lake Park (0.62 acres) contains a community center/multipurpose room, a tennis court with basketball hoops, picnic tables, barbecue pits, children's play area and restrooms. Indoor facilities, such as a museum, swimming pool, ice skating rink and courts for racquet sports, are also desired.
  2. Recreational amenities and opportunities in June Lake are critical to the health of the community and economy. Improving and publicizing the year-round trail system for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing is a high priority.
  3. Future growth of the June Lake Loop will increase the need for parks, trails, and associated facilities, as well as indoor recreational improvements.
  4. Upgrade and properly maintain the ball field (five acres) and other recreational facilities.


  1. The June Lake Loop's economy is based upon its tourist industry orientation, and the area must be able to accommodate a significant spike in population during the busiest days. Summer activities such as fishing, camping, hiking and sightseeing presently draws the majority of the Loop's visitors.
  2. June Lake's quaint, small-town atmosphere, scenic beauty and numerous recreational opportunities are its primary tourist attractions. Community expansion and the development of additional recreational opportunities should be conditioned so that these characteristics are not negatively affected, and are potentially enhanced.
  3. June Lake, as a small mountain resort community, exhibits a highly cyclical economy characterized by: periods of intensive use and periods of inactivity; an economy heavily dependent on tourist dollars; and lower-paying service sector jobs. The availability of living wage jobs and stabilizing the economy is important to residents.
  4. Enhancing the Loop's economic foundation will depend on expanding and improving tourist-oriented recreational facilities and accommodations. Public and private campgrounds during the summer months operate at near-full capacity, while in the winter, overnight accommodations fall short of demand.
  5. Proposed development in the West Village/Rodeo Grounds and June Lake Village is expected to support additional visitors.
  6. The summer season currently is the dominant component of the June Lake Loop economy. Recent and future improvements to the June Mountain Ski Area and proposed development in the West Village/Rodeo Grounds area are expected to improve the winter economy.
  7. Enhanced visitor use services and information is critical to improving the experience of tourists and guests, and expanding the recreational and tourism economic base. Currently, a Scenic Byway Kiosk exists at the south June Lake Junction intersection adjacent to the gas station and general store, and a trial visitor center in 2009 was successful. No staffed visitor center is currently available for visitors.
  8. Past surveys and anecdotal information indicate a strong split between tourists who favor additional development and those who like the Loop's current state. Additional potential visitor-oriented facilities included: public showers and restrooms, hiking trails, bicycle/cross country skiing trails, expanded alpine skiing facilities, snowplay areas, indoor recreational facilities for tennis/racquetball, shops, and restaurants. Summer visitors also wanted campfire activities, interpretive nature tours and nighttime entertainment.
  9. Restricted or limited access along shorelines and stream banks prevents fishermen from fully utilizing the Loop's four roadside lakes and two streams. Efforts are being made to upgrade ramps at lakes to create better access.
  10. The Loop lacks safe, convenient roadside turnouts at selected scenic lookout points.
  11. Water diverted for domestic uses from Grant Lake, tributaries to Reversed Creek, Walker Creek, Parker Creek and Lower Rush Creek diminishes their recreational, scenic and wildlife habitat values. Hydroelectric power generation in the Upper Rush Creek watershed causes similar impacts.
  12. The Inyo National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan indicates a management prescription of Concentrated Recreational Area for the June Lake Loop corridor and Pine Cliff area. This designation calls for developing recreational opportunities that can accommodate large numbers of visitors without severely impacting the environment.
  13. The opportunity exists for the June Lake community to work with the USFS in developing a comprehensive recreation plan. This plan will inventory, coordinate and program the full summer and winter recreational development potential in the June Lake Loop.
  14. Year-round air service presents opportunities for economic and visitor growth.