Day Hike Away from the Crowds in June Lake Area – Gull Lake Trail

by Basak Prince
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Gull Lake from above
Gull Lake Mountain View in Inyo National Forest

If you are looking for a short day hike away from the crowds in the June Lake area, the Gull Lake trail would definitely do the trick.

Even though the Gull Lake Marina is a popular destination for renting boats, kayaks, and fishing gear, the Gull Lake hiking trail is not visited too often by travelers since it is tucked at the edge of town and mostly used by fishermen.

Gull Lake Trail, Rope Swing
Gull Lake Trail, Rope Swing

You can hike along the Gull lake while wandering through four different habitat zones along this 2-mile loop trail. If you don’t mind the brisk water, there’s a rope swing into the lake too.

Gull Lake trail is one of my favorite hiking spots in the June Lake area. It is a very scenic trail that goes through varying terrains from meadows to marshes to aspen and conifer groves. It is an easy, nature walk that can be done with the whole family as well. I hope you’ll enjoy it as well.

Day Hike Away from the Crowds in June Lake Area – Gull Lake Trail

Trailhead starts at the Mono County Community Center and winds counter-clockwise around the lake to the Gull Lake Marina. Series of wooden number posts follow the trail. First, you will climb halfway up a small hill,  and turn left and start walking alongside the lake on a narrow trail. After you passed the meadow habitat, an aspen grove will welcome you. I will highly recommend hiking this trail during the fall season to see the fall colors along the trail, especially in the aspen groves.

After the Aspen Grove, you lose the sight of the lake and go behind a big hill. Keep following the trail signs, and it will take you down to the edge of the lake again. When you get down, you will come to split in the trail. Following the Gull Lake trail will bring you through the Gull Lake Camp Ground.

Gull Lake Trail, Fisherman trail split
Gull Lake Trail, Fisherman Trail Split

If you follow the Fisherman Trail,  it will take you to over the hill where you will be looking down the lake. Continue the Fisherman trail about 1/4 of a mile, and you will come to the famed “Rope Swing”. During summertime, the rope swing is a popular attraction for all age groups. If you follow your steps back, the path will take you back on the Gull Lake trail again. The rest of the trail will take you through the Gull Lake Campground and back to the Gull Lake Marina. 

If you like, you can rent boats or kayaks from the Gull Lake Marina and venture around the lake. And when you are done, head out to the June Lake Brewery for a delicious cold beer. 

Gull Lake, View from the Trail
Gull Lake, view from the trail

Tips + Things You Should Know

Where to Park: There is plenty of free parking around the Gull Lake Marina – so parking will not be a problem.

Bathrooms: There are public bathrooms at the near by park.

Food/Snacks: You can grab food and snacks in Gull Lake Marina store.

Distance: 1.9 Miles

Elevation Gain: 124 ft

Dogs: Yes, with a leash.

Best time to go: Fall season is one of the most amazing times to visit this area but everey season has its own charm.

Photography Tips: Afternoon light is the best time to take pictures. Also, this location has the best sunset view if there are high clouds in the sky.

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