Newly Reopened June Mountain is Perfect for Families
With a ‘Chalet’ lodge perched on the top of a mountain face like a cozy castle, weekly bonfires and s’mores events, wildlife and nature walk programs, and a playful mascot named Bucky, it’s no wonder children consider skiing June Mountain to be magical. Long described as a ‘best kept secret’ amid the California ski crowds descending upon the Eastern Sierras, June Mountain–just outside Yosemite National Park–provides tranquility, community, and seriously fun skiing a world apart from its big sister, Mammoth Mountain.
For years, June may have been a secret too well kept, forcing its temporary closure for the 2012-2013 season. Managing Director Carl Williams spent the interim carving out a new family-friendly focus for June that plays to its natural strengths of affordability, fun, and pristine location.
Families used to the sometimes-overwhelming array of options, lifts, and visitors of Mammoth Mountain will find a slower pace at June, except in the un-crowded lift lines: only the double-chair ride up J1 to the Chalet may feel dizzying. Families arrive off the lift into the sanctuary of a lodge straight out of most parents’ youth, complete with wooden construction–no iron and steel accents here–and a roaring fire in a real–forget electric or gas–fireplace. Beginner and intermediate terrain span outward from the chalet’s wide wrap-around deck, offering stellar views of the Sierras and little learners.
Ambiance and atmosphere is all well and good, but June is standing behind their new family-friendly focus in a tangible way that will appeal to parents’ wallets, too: kids 0-12 now ski free at June Mountain all day, any day. No blackouts, no restrictions. As if this isn’t enough incentive to get kids to this hill, ski and snowboard lessons for kids at June are roughly half of what they cost at nearby Mammoth Mountain, making June an ideal place to get those first days on the snow under one’s belt.
Thanks to June’s manageable size (it boasts seven lifts and 35 named trails), school-aged kids can be let loose to ski on their own while parents explore the glades…or the famous Antler Bar. Runs funnel down to J2 and the Chalet, allowing for easy lunch meet-ups and stress-free departures. Take a mid-morning break to try an expert-led nature walk through the snow, or see what you can spot from the chair; thanks to June’s wilderness, it’s not unusual to see wild animal tracks in the snow. From this vantage point, it’s hard to remember one is only 20 minutes from Mammoth.
Mammoth Mountain lift tickets are accepted at June Mountain, allowing families to split their ski vacation between both resorts. Start with lessons for the kids at June to stretch your ski vacation dollar before exploring Mammoth…though be warned: you may run right back to the tranquility of June!