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Gone are the days of summer break. Being in my first year as, what some may call, a working professional, I'm realizing time off is sparse. Every summer, my family would make a week out of visiting Mammoth Lakes where we have a cabin. It has come to be my happy place after all these years. I have precious memories from being a little girl to now lure fishing from an Old Town canoe, waking up at dawn to hike switchbacks and perching on our cabin's porch to watch thunderstorms over the peaks.

My heart throbs for the high desert landscape, rocky horizon and glassy lake water. As if I had just returned from a trip, I could describe to you my favorite places in the Eastern Sierras. So I will. Here's a sample of a few scenic lakes and activities to do while you're there.

June Lake
Fishing, swimming, boating
Reserve a flat-bottom fishing boat from Big Rock Resort in advance if you don't have your own. The 1-mile long lake is located 20 miles north of Mammoth Lakes in a quaint, mountain town. Pack enough for a half day, at least, that starts early in the morning, when the water is calmest and the trout are biting. Last year, we caught three decent sized trout finding luck along the rocky shore. A course-sand beach opposite the marina features a cordoned off swimming square, big enough for one exhausting lap. On hot afternoons, melted snow is an ideal way to cool down. (June Lake pictured in the first four photos.)

Silver Lake
Shore fishing, lunch
When the sun is less intense in late afternoon, Silver Lake glimmers. Stretching along the parking lot and beyond are little coves for shore fishers who don't mind setting up in the marsh. Tall grasses and tangled trees make for cozy spots. Bring folding chairs and a cooler of beer to prop in the gravel for a mellow afternoon. We haven't had much luck bait fishing here in the past, but the good lake vibes aren't worth passing up. At the Silver Lake Resort, celebrating 100 years, is my favorite cafe (7 a.m.-2 p.m.) and store — browse the T-shirts and baked goods. Treat yourself to a milkshake when you pop in.

Convict Lake
Easy hiking, picnicking, shore fishing, kayaking
If I could visit any lake, it would be this one. The initial view is stunning and it just gets better from there. At the docks, we drop in our two ocean kayaks to fish the lake's middle but staying on the land is just as fulfilling. A 3-mile hike skirts the lake past piles of shale, wildflowers and a tree home to a regal bald eagle. At the halfway point is a shady beach for shore fishing, snack breaks, wading into the water or a mid-afternoon nap. Keep walking and you'll meet a slatted bridge over a rushing or trickling water source, whatever the snow melt allows. Don't miss the sign at the end that details the lake's tell-taled past. Spoiler alert, it has to do with convicts. (Pictured in the next three photos.)

Lake Sabrina
Boat fishing, tasty pie
One hour outside of Mammoth Lakes in Bishop is a slice of mountain paradise tucked in a little valley. Don't let it being a reservoir keep you from venturing here — it's often underpopulated and therefore quiet. Wait too long though and I guarantee somebody will beat you to the stream that dumps out massive trout. If you're renting a boat, be sure to meet the friendly boat landing owners and their herd of pets. If you hear someone shouting "Nimrod," just know it's not you but a feisty tabby. At the end of the day, save room for a piece of rhubarb pie (or any pie on the menu) at the store's comfy cafe as a celebration or consolation prize depending on how many fish you reel in.

Thank you for indulging with me in my guide to four favorite lakes! Keep adventuring, my friends.


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