3-Day Itinerary for Water Adventures
A cool swim on a warm summer day is always enjoyable! Plan a hike with a refreshing reward at the end. Take a dip in Horseshoe Lake, or hike to lakes in the upper Basin and swim there. The relatively short hikes to McLeod and Crystal Lakes are ideally suited to this purpose. You could also join intrepid triathletes training at June Lake beach, or kick back and soak up some sunshine along the wide sandy shore. Locally, only Whitmore pool is staffed with professional lifeguards. To unwindafter a seriously strenuous adventure, discover a geothermally heated hot spring for a reviving, warm soak.
Day 1: Fishing the Mammoth Lakes Basin
The well-stocked Mammoth Lakes Basin is the ideal place to start your water adventure. Hire a fishing guide to provide everything you’ll need: equipment, licenses, bait, instruction, and unsurpassed local knowledge. You’ll be catching rainbow, lake and brown trout in no time.
By mid-day, the fish will be biting less so it’s an ideal time to take a hike. Venture to Horseshoe Lake, noting the trees killed by carbon dioxide seeping from the geologically-active ground here. Depart from the trailhead for the easy, half-mile hike to McLeod Lake to enjoy a picnic lunch and swim.
Day 2: Kayaking Mono Lake
Rise early and drive 30 minutes north to Mono Lake for a morning kayak tour of one of the oldest and most fascinating lakes in North America. With no outlet, Mono Lake is three times as salty as the ocean. Paddle among the otherworldly limestone tufa towers formed when lake water combines with fresh water from underground springs.
Grab some food in Lee Vining before heading back south to June Lake. Rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak right on the beach, then spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the soft sand.
Day 3: Boating and Hiking at Convict Lake
Today you’ll head just south of town to beautiful Convict Lake. Rent a pontoon boat from the marina here and feel like you are truly getting away from it all. When you finish boating, hike the easy two-mile trail around the lake, being sure to linger among the aspens and cottonwoods around the inlet streams at the far end of the lake.
Explore the nearby Hot Creek Geologic Site before driving back. Colorful sulfur deposits surround scalding, bubbling hot spring pools, a potent reminder of the volcanic nature of this area. Swimming is prohibited here.