Photo of Parker Lake, Mono County, CA

Parker Lake Fishing

June Lakes Loop - Mono County

Parker Lake makes a wonderful alternative to the popular June Lake Loop fishing destinations. This beautiful alpine lake is tucked between the shoulders of Mount Lewis and Parker Peak at an elevation of 8,309 feet. The 2-mile trail to the lake is along an easy-to-follow path, best done in the cool of morning due to the lack of shade for most of hike. Anglers are rewarded at the lake with opportunities to land both brook and brown trout.

Road to Parker Lake trailhead

Road to Parker Lake Trailhead

In My Creel

  • #12 Royal Wulff
  • #16 Blue Olive
  • #14 Adams Parachute
  • #16 Red Quill
  • #16 Adams
  • Panther Martin
  • Super Duper
  • Red and gold Thomas Bouyants

As I often do, I carried both my fly fishing rod and a spinning outfit with me. I quickly discovered I did better with the fly rod, even though casting was difficult with trees standing so thickly along the shore. I should have carried in a float tube.

Making Your Way to Fern Lake


The Parker Lake trailhead is at the end of a 2½-mile dirt road diverging from Highway 158 (the June Lake Loop) near Grant Lake. The turnoff is well marked. A small parking area is at the trailhead. The first third of the 2-mile hike is the most difficult, climbing steadily without much shade.

A sign marks the boundary of the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Eventually the trail levels off somewhat and the sound of nearby Parker Creek can be heard. As you approach the lake you will enter a pine and aspen forest with Parker Creek running along the side of the trail. The climb from trailhead to the lake is about 500 feet. In early season the mosquitoes are thick among the trees around the lake.

An alternate (but not recommended) approach to the Parker Lake is along a 5-mile trail from Silver Lake in the June Lake Loop. The Silver Lake trail joins the Parker Lake trail a quarter-mile from the lake.

I fishing with good success along the southern shore, finding occasional breaks in the trees where casting was easier. Then later I found a log crossing over Parker Creek and worked my way up the northern shore with good success. Althogh I didn't fish Parker Creek, I have heard that some good fishing can be found for seveal miles downstream from the lake.

Photo of Parker Creek

Parker Creek

Accommodations and Supplies

Backpacking campsites can be found at the lower end of the lake and across the creek on the northern shore. Since Parker Lake is in the Ansel Adams Wilderness, permits are required for overnight stays. Established Forest Service campgrounds are located all around the June Lake Loop. Some take reservations, others are first come, first served. If you have an RV, nearby Deadman Creek Campground is another alternative.

logo saying California's Greatest Lakes

For more information about fishing, camping, lodging, and boating around the June Lake Loop, see California's Greatest Lakes coverage of June Lake Loop.

There is lodging available around the June Lake Loop. Because it is a popular fishing destination, finding a vacancy can sometimes be difficult early in the season. Another lodging option is to drive south a short distance to Mammoth Lakes where is a greater selection of accommodations. At Mammoth, winter is the high season, so rates in summer are reasonable. For more information about lodging in Mono County, see Mono County - California's Eastern Sierra.

California's Best Camping logo

To find the very best campgrounds in the Eastern Sierra and all across California, visit California's Best Camping.

If you are in need of fishing supplies, try one of these places:

Recommended Fishing Books for the Eastern Sierra

Photo of Parker  Lake

Parker Lake

Other Featured Trips in Mono County

  • Conness Lakes - a series of high lakes near Saddlebag Lake
  • Mammoth Lakes - a dozen great fishing lakes
  • Fern Lake - a pretty mountain lake with a 2-mile hike in from the Gull Lake area.
  • Green Lake - another Eastern Sierra fishing gem, close to Bridgeport

High Sierra Trails

A Backpacker's Guide to the
Most Spectacular Trails
in the Sierra Nevada