One Of World’s Top 10 Spa Re­sorts 4 Hours From Oak­dale

Escalon Times - - NEIGHBORHOOD VALUES - By CARY ORDWAY Cal­i­for­ni­aWeek­end.com

Most of us like to splurge on our get­aways — at least as much as our pock­et­books will per­mit — and it’s easy to in­dulge like there’s no to­mor­row when tempted with lav­ish meals and daysspent pool­side with noth­ing more ur­gent than keep­ing our cock­tail glasses full.

Prob­lem is, if we be­have like that too much, there will be no to­mor­row.

So whether it’s out of guilt or just com­mon sense, more va­ca­tion­ers to­day are opt­ing to ex­er­cise a lit­tle more, party a lit­tle less and even go so far as to watch our nutri­tion while en­joy­ing our pre­cious time off. That’s where a place like the Dou­ble Ea­gle Resort and Spa can make all the dif­fer­ence. And it’s just four hours from Oak­dale via Tioga Pass on High­way 120

Dou­ble Ea­gle of­fers both a fit­ness cen­ter for ex­er­cise and a world-class spa for pam­per­ing. Health-con­scious meals are avail­able at the resort’s gourmet restau­rant, and vig­or­ous out­door ac­tiv­i­ties are ev­ery­where you look. This to­tal pack­age so im­pressed

Forbes Mag­a­zine that it named Dou­ble Ea­gle one of the 10 best spa re­sorts in the world.

The Dou­ble Ea­gle hap­pens to be lo­cated in one of the state’s most scenic va­ca­tion spots — the ‘June Lake Loop.’ This area just east of Yosemite Park prob­a­bly should have been in­cluded in the na­tional park — its dra­matic moun­tain faces, pine forests and sparkling lakes make it just that beau­ti­ful.

Driv­ing into June Lake we were re­minded of those pretty lit­tle hill­side towns you come across trav­el­ing through the Alps. The first views of June Lake on this bright sunny day looked like a travel poster for Swis­sair. With the cragged snow-topped moun­tains in the dis­tance, High­way 158 winds its way along the blue­green lake where an­glers spend con­sid­er­able time in sum­mer per­suad­ing good-size cut­throat trout to jump aboard their boats. Since it was mid-week, a wide, perfect beach was be­ing un­der-uti­lized by just two teenage girls con­tent to bathe in the am­ple sun­shine.

A cou­ple miles far­ther we rounded a cor­ner to en­ter the town it­self, a tiny com­mu­nity with lots of cab­ins and va­ca­tion-style res­i­dences ser­viced by just a hand­ful of restau­rants, a pizza joint with just enough room for one ta­ble and two chairs, and a cou­ple of gen­eral stores that are al­ways fun to browse when pass­ing through th­ese small set­tle­ments. So far, it was hard to imag­ine that a world-class spa resort was just up around the bend.

But it was. Just a few miles down the high­way, past Gull Lake and just be­fore Sil­ver Lake, we came to a set of mod­ern log cab­ins and re­sort­style build­ings known as the Dou­ble Ea­gle Resort and Spa. Lo­cated just at the edge of the moun­tains and an easy stroll to Sil­ver Lake, the resort ap­par­ently was de­signed to fit in with the numer­ous up­scale log homes in the im­me­di­ate vicin­ity. Pic­ture Aspen or Vail and you get some idea of the set­ting, although this en­clave of homes is tiny by com­par­i­son.

We stayed in one of the resort’s “lux­ury lodge rooms” that were built only re­cently. Lo­cated in a group of two-story build­ings, th­ese rooms are es­pe­cially spa­cious and so new they still have the un­mis­tak­able scent of a new home. They fea­ture such ameni­ties as com­fort­able lounge chairs, stand­ing fire­places, work desks, mini-kitchen coun­ters, Jacuzzi tubs and decks that over­look the resort’s fully stocked trout pond.

The other build­ings in the resort com­plex also are all de­signed with this kind of moun­tain mo­tif. Cathe­dral ceil­ings and plenty of win­dows al­ways re­mind you of the moun­tains that tower di­rectly over­head — whether you’re in the state-of-the-art spa facility or the Ea­gle’s Land­ing Restau­rant. The Creek­side Spa of­fers 40 types of spa ser­vices, in­clud­ing mas­sages, fa­cials, body wraps and whirlpool treat­ments. The treat­ment rooms all have rus­tic stoves but, in sum­mer, there’s no need to have your mas­sage in­doors. Just stroll along the stream to a spe­cial area where you can have your mas­sage while ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the sights, sounds and aro­mas of the for­est. You won’t need a doc­tor’s ap­point­ment to use the Creek­side Fit­ness Cen­ter — Dou­ble Ea­gle guests will find a 60-foot swim­ming pool, free weights, car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cises and spe­cial train­ing in Yoga, Tai Chi and Pi­lates.

When we’re in the moun­tains we pre­fer the ex­er­cise that comes from dis­cov­er­ing the many trails in the area or walk­ing to var­i­ous points of in­ter­est. In such gor­geous sur­round­ings, we just feel like we’re wast­ing our time in the area if we’re not out­doors. Ac­cord­ingly, we spent much of our time ex­plor­ing trails and walks near June Lake. At the top of our list was a two-mile hike to Rain­bow Falls, a spec­tac­u­lar site with its 101-foot drop. Dur­ing our June visit there was still a bit of snow on the trail, but the views from the trail of both the falls and the val­ley were well worth the ef­fort.

We took a closer look at the other lakes in the area — Gull, Sil­ver and Grant ‘ and noted that the area is quite pop­u­lar with RV campers and an­glers. Th­ese are the kind of placid lakes that are perfect for a row­boat with a three-horse­power out­board that is just enough to get you from one part of the lake to an­other. There are, in fact, sev­eral fish­ing tour­na­ments held here each year with some trout weigh­ing in as large as 10 pounds.

Just a few miles away is Mam­moth Lakes, the resort com­mu­nity that is a bee­hive of ac­tiv­ity each win­ter dur­ing ski sea­son at Mam­moth Moun­tain. Ski sea­son goes through June, but in late June it’s pos­si­ble to take the moun­tain’s gon­dola ride up the moun­tain to hike down any of sev­eral trails. Just $16 buys you an adult ticket.

An­other great at­trac­tion close to June Lake is Bodie State His­toric Park — the best ex­am­ple of a ghost town in Cal­i­for­nia. With dozens of build­ings to ex­plore, it’s easy to imag­ine what Bodie looked like back in its 19th Cen­tury hay-day. At one time there were said to be 65 sa­loons serv­ing a town of 10,000 res­i­dents. To­day the build­ings are in dis­re­pair — in­ten­tion­ally so be­cause the state wants to keep them au­then­tic — and be­long­ings are left in sev­eral build­ings just as if the res­i­dents had to quickly leave town with only the most ba­sic of pos­ses­sions.

If a re­mote moun­tain es­cape is on your travel agenda, you could hardly do bet­ter than June Lake and its nearby scenery and at­trac­tions — you’re sure to come away with a healthy re­spect for the Great Out­doors.

Pho­tos by Sandi Ordway

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