June Lake, Calif.
It's rare, in the sprawl of craggy peaks and crystalline lakes that run from North Lake Tahoe to Mammoth, to find a High Sierra hideaway that is rustic but not musty, plush without being pretentious and ideally suited to its surroundings. But in tiny June Lake-where uncrowded June Mountain delivers fresh tracks for days after storms, trout season's annual opener is the busiest day of the year, and wilderness is out the back door-first-time hoteliers Connie and Ron Black have managed to get the blend of outdoorsiness and amenities just right.
Double Eagle's 13 cedar cabins dapple the property's forested 11 acres, delivering quiet privacy and views of frozen waterfalls, jagged granite spires and 13,000-foot Carson Peak. Inside, wood-burning fireplaces throw a warm glow over pine-paneled walls, overstuffed armchairs and occasional "Wild West" touches such as restored mining-era relics and hand-painted saloon-style signs. All cabins have two bedrooms, with down and flannel bedding so comfortable and starry views so mesmerizing that even the chronically sleepless are lulled into peace. Each features a fully equipped kitchen, TV, VCR, spacious deck and private barbecue. Nothing is over the top, but everything is in place.
The Blacks-who built a log home on adjacent land for their retirement (she was a high-powered executive; he was a captain with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department)-think big when it comes to extras. The resort's serene spa and fitness center is a singular presence in the Eastern Sierra, offering more than 40 body treatments, whirlpools, steam rooms, a juice bar, a full-service salon, a serious fitness center and a 60-foot indoor lap pool in a solarium. If natural waters are more your style, Double Eagle also has access to private fishing claims, jumping with trophy-sized trout.
Cabins are $264-$298 nightly, depending on the season and number of occupants. Prices drop as low as $207 per night for extended stays. Skiing, spa and angling packages are available. A full-service restaurant is also on site.