Camper submitted image from Convict Lake Campground - 1
View All
Camper submitted image from Convict Lake Campground - 2
Nature
Camper submitted image from Convict Lake Campground - 3
People
Camper submitted image from Convict Lake Campground - 4
Water
Camper submitted image from Convict Lake Campground - 5
Roads

Established Camping

Convict Lake Campground

About

National Forest

Inyo National Forest

Overview

Convict Lake Campground is situated near Convict Lake amidst the beautiful scenery of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The lake and surrounding national forest provide many opportunities for family fun, outdoor recreation and relaxation. The campground and nearby resort offer many amenities for a convenient and enjoyable camping experience. The facility is located between Mammoth Lakes and Bishop, California, near Mammoth Airport.

Recreation

The eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains are known for exceptional trout fishing. Anglers can cast a line for rainbow and brown trout in the creek or lake. Power boats are limited to electric motors on the lake (six horsepower or less). The area's majestic scenery and variety of trails draw in hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian enthusiasts. The 3.5-mile Lake Trail can be accessed from the campground, and many other trails are in nearby John Muir Wilderness.

Facilities

The eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains are known for exceptional trout fishing. Anglers can cast a line for rainbow and brown trout in the creek or lake. Power boats are limited to electric motors on the lake (six horsepower or less). The area's majestic scenery and variety of trails draw in hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian enthusiasts. The 3.5-mile Lake Trail can be accessed from the campground, and many other trails are in nearby John Muir Wilderness.

Natural Features

The campground sits at an elevation of 7,500 ft. and provides gorgeous views of the lake and the dramatic mountain scenery. Convict Creek runs through the campground, and the 167-acre Convict Lake is about 100 yards away. Shrubs and low vegetation fill in the landscape, though tall aspen and cottonwood trees grow along the creek. The area is abundant with wildlife, including black bears, mountain lions, mule deer, pine marten, pika and many species of fish and birds.

Nearby Attractions

Visitors can explore the magnificent John Muir Wilderness, which stretches for 100 miles along the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is a land of lofty snow-capped mountains, deep canyons and vast expanses of glacially-carved terrain, and offers extensive hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails.

Suggest an Edit

Location

Convict Lake Campground is located in California

Detail location of campground

Directions

Convict Lake Campground is about 34 miles north of Bishop, California on Highway 395. From Bishop, travel north on 395. The turnoff to the campground is across from Mammoth Yosemite Airport and is well-signed. From Mammoth Lakes, travel on Highway 395 south for 5 miles. Turn west off of Highway 395.

Address

HCR 79, BOX 54
Crowley lake, CA 93546

Coordinates

37.5988889 N
118.8508333 W

Open in Google Maps

Is Convict Lake Campground sold out?

Quickly grab cancellations!

Learn More

Access

  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Hike-In
    Backcountry sites.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Good
  • Verizon
    Unknown
  • AT&T
    Unknown
  • T-Mobile
    Unknown

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • RV Sites
  • Standard (Tent/RV)
  • Group

Features

For Campers

  • Market
  • Trash
  • Firewood Available
  • Phone Service
  • Drinking Water
  • Toilets
  • Alcohol
  • Pets
  • Fires

For Vehicles

  • Sanitary Dump
  • Pull-Through Sites
  • Big Rig Friendly

Reviews

Add Review

5 Stars

4 Stars

3 Stars

2 Stars

1 Star

86%
15%
0%
0%
0%

5.0

out of 5

14 Reviews

JThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Oct. 21, 2022

Great in October

Convict Lake is a beautiful campground in the east Sierras. Fantastic fishing. The fall colors were outstanding. T-mobile is accessible at space 5. Convict Lake Trout Fishing 

Trout are the draw at Convict Lake.

With crystal clear water and abundant forage, the Convict Lake rainbows are hearty and ready to put your knots to the test.

Thanks to regular plantings and cool, high-elevation waters, the bite stays relatively good throughout the year, although definite peaks occur in the cooler spring and fall weather.

Brown trout can be found here as well, though there aren’t as many as the ‘bows. They do get big, though, so it’s definitely worth a try.

The fishing season runs from the end of April through the middle of November. Check with current regulations to make sure you’re within the seasonal guidelines. 

To focus on rainbow trout at Convict Lake, you must first decide if you want to fish the lake or the creek. Both are excellent fisheries, and both get a ton of pressure during the high tourist season.

The lake will offer more in the way of size, while the creek often offers faster action. It’s a toss-up, really, and you can do some of both if you’re staying a few days. 

The lake has several areas to target, though the key here is to fish the edge of the bowl. There’s a ledge around it that drops off into much deeper water. Fishing along this edge can provide some pretty great action.

Starting at the main parking lot at the marina, you can go out on the jetty that forms the bay. From the jetty, you can cast straight to the edge of the ledge and get your bait in front of schools of fish. 

If you choose the jetty, keep in mind boats are coming and going all day, and nobody wants their prop tangled up with your line. Use proper etiquette, and you’ll be fine.

Following the road partway down the southern side of the lake will get your to several parking areas with trails along the lake.

Intrepid anglers can continue on foot to reach additional areas with fewer bank anglers.

Trout can be caught right from shore all around the fisherman’s trail. It wraps around the lake and offers access to all sorts of great fishing holes. 

Fresh baits work great if you’re bait fishing, as do PowerBait and mouse tails. Using minnows can also be very productive here, as can injecting a nightcrawler with air to float it in front of cruising trout.

Check at the marina for minnows and other baits.

If boats are more your thing, this lake will give you plenty of reasons to come back.

Troll from the marina around the lake just off the drop-off, and you’ll likely do well.

Use the standard trolling techniques and watch your finder. Baits, spoons and spinners are always a go-to for trolling. 

The resort has reported that trolling Needlefish in the Green Frog pattern or Tasmanian Devils in the Bleeding Frog patterns have been effective.

Tie on a rainbow-colored lure, and you just might find the browns that are sprinkled around the lake. Browns love eating fingerling rainbows, and in Convict Lake, they don’t have to look very far to find some.

The lake’s southern end has some pretty great areas for setting off in a float tube and slinging some streamers.

The inlet usually has some pretty big trout holding below it, waiting for a tasty snack.

Toss some Woolly Buggers in the 8- 10-size range, Clouser Minnows in 6-8, and Mohair Leech patterns. These will bring big fish to the net.

Early mornings also offer excellent dry fly opportunities, as long as the wind stays away.

Fishing for Convict Creek Trout 

Convict Creek is a favorite fly-fishing destination, with decent-sized ‘bows, browns, and brook trout.

You may find a few brookies in the lake, but for the most part, they stick to the creeks.

The rainbows are the most common catch, especially after the California Department of Fish and Wildlife plants it below the dam in the spring, which is likely to occur by May.

If approaching the creek with a fly, think Olive Caddis in sizes 12 to 16, possibly with a Hares Ear Nymph below. Use the dry as an indicator.

Some flies you must have in your kit for the creek are Pheasant Tail or A.P. nymphs in 12-16, and one more dry, the Yellow Humpy, in 14-18.

Bait anglers can do well on the creek using small hooks in the size 10 to 12 range with one or two chartreuse garlic fireballs. If they aren’t biting on the chartreuse, try the orange shrimp flavor.

Trout go nuts for this stuff. Just don’t spill the liquid on your hands. Tough to wash that stink off.

Site35
Month of VisitNovember
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Jeff H., October 21, 2022
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Jeff H., October 21, 2022
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Jeff H., October 21, 2022
  • (11) View All
H
Reviewed Jul. 9, 2022

Forever a favorite!

I will always come back to this campground because it is one in a million! I love having the separation of the campground from the cabins in the upper lot. Being able to explore all over the lake and fish in the creek. The general store is also a plus because I somehow always forget at least one thing and they always manage to have it.

Site16
Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Haley N., July 9, 2022
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Haley N., July 9, 2022
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Haley N., July 9, 2022
  • (7) View All
Christina R.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jun. 5, 2022

Always for Trout Opener

My friends and I have been fishing Convict Lake for the Trout Opener for 15 years years now and camping it for about 4-5 years of those 15. We have stayed in many of the campsites and have been very satisfied with them all. The bathrooms are well kept, and the general store staff and camp posts are always so nice! We never have a bad stay coming here, it’s tradition.

SiteMany
Month of VisitMay
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Christina R., June 5, 2022
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Christina R., June 5, 2022
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Christina R., June 5, 2022
  • (13) View All
l
Reviewed Jan. 17, 2022

One of the best out there

This is one of the most scenic areas for me. Mountains, lakes, fishing, beautiful roads, hiking trails.. convict lake has it all. Ive stayed here multiple times in all the different seasons. Always a blast.

Site69
Month of VisitAugust
A
Reviewed May. 11, 2021

Great, quiet campground with easy access.

Great campground! Very clean, quiet and peaceful. The campground typically takes reservations ahead of time; however our trip was midweek so first come, first serve. We arrived just after 4pm so plenty of spots to choose from.

Camp host was very nice. Surrounding neighbors well spaced out and quiet. A lovely space to fish and go for a morning jog as well! If looking to remain connected, note there’s no cell service, however you may be able to connect to Wi-Fi at either the general store or restaurant. With COVID-19, checkout time was modified to an earlier departure time of 11am.

Site70
Month of VisitJune
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Ashley , May 11, 2021
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Ashley , May 11, 2021
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Ashley , May 11, 2021
Berton M.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Aug. 17, 2020

Spectacular Scenery

Convict Lake is probably one of my most favorite cam[grounds. It's situated at the base of an impressive mountain and at the shore of an awesome lake. You can't ask more. There's also wildlife strolling thru the campgrounds all the time.

The campsites are well spaced out with some actually located on a beautiful stream. The restrooms are clean.

The lake has a very small marina where you can rent boats. The lake offers fishing, swimming and much more.

 Cell Service: None

Site87
Month of VisitSeptember
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Berton M., August 17, 2020
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Berton M., August 17, 2020
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Berton M., August 17, 2020
  • (5) View All
Lauren L.
Reviewed Aug. 12, 2020

No shade but one of our faves

We usually stay in the Mammoth Lakes area but changed it up and we are so happy we did. The tent sites are small with little to no shade but the beauty of Convict Lake was worth it. The only wildlife we dealt with were deer which is much better than bears (so many in Mammoth).

We enjoyed paddle boarding, fishing, and hiking around the lake.

  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Lauren L., August 12, 2020
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Lauren L., August 12, 2020
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Lauren L., August 12, 2020
  • (6) View All
Vanessa H.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Oct. 6, 2019

So much love for this place

What can I say- I LOVE convict lake. I’ve been coming here for 20+ years with my family for reunions. We always camp but have stayed in the cabins years ago. Used to go over Labor Day weekend but changed to June but the weather is always wonderfully warm during the day and brisk-chilly at night. There are some sites that have a great locations to the bridge that connects to the road for easy access to the general store. Some shady sites and others are exposed to the direct sun. Great fishing in the creek- it is stocked. You can find some quiet spots around the lake to relax, read, and soak up the sun if you aren’t into fishing. Bathrooms and sites are very well kept. I always stop here for a quick view even when driving home from mammoth. Worth it every time.

  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Vanessa H., October 6, 2019
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Vanessa H., October 6, 2019
X
Reviewed Jul. 21, 2019

So clean and well maintained

Went here for the first time a week ago with the family. Clean grounds and restrooms. Firewood sold on site for $7 a bundle, super reasonable. Easily found a campsite without a reservation. Nice hiking trails. Fishing spots all around the lake. Will def be back again soon

Steve & Ashley  G.
Reviewed May. 28, 2019

Most Beautiful Campgroud

This is one of my favorite places in the Eastern Sierra Mountains. It’s just a short drive from the highway and Mammoth Airport. The campground is very popular with a mix of reserved and non reserved sites. I understand the name of the lake is related to some convicts who escaped to the area many years ago. We were able to get a walk up sites by arriving in the early afternoon. The sites are well groomed with fire pits and picnic tables. The restrooms are very clean and well maintained. The setting may be one of the most beautiful in California. You have large mountain lake surrounded on 3 sides by beautiful mountain peaks. They have great 3 or 4 mile trail around the lake and lots of fishing opportunities.

  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Steve & Ashley  G., May 28, 2019
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Steve & Ashley  G., May 28, 2019
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Steve & Ashley  G., May 28, 2019
  • (8) View All
Jill F.
Reviewed Aug. 31, 2018

Beautiful in the fall

Went at the end of October with some snow! The lake is gorgeous when you can see the snow. Highly recommended for a late season trip. Bundle up though!!

  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Jill F., August 31, 2018
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Jill F., August 31, 2018
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Jill F., August 31, 2018
  • (4) View All
Lorrie  .
Reviewed Aug. 10, 2018

Summer fun

Quite, clean friendly, deer come right into your camp site, creek runs behind majority of sites, great fishing, swimming , boating paddle boards

Month of VisitAugust
Natasha H.
Reviewed Sep. 10, 2016

Little Slice of Fishing Heaven

My husband and I have been camping at Convict Lake for many years. He and his family have gone to opening day of fishing in the freezing cold for MANY years. Tucked away in the mountains of the Inyo National Forest it is just a few skips North of Bishop and an easy drive up to Mammoth from here. Choosing the best site takes some know-how and I cant give you my sweet spots just yet however I will share some details about fishing here on this little lake . It is decent fishing from almost any point- shore or from small boat. I have caught several fish myself- even out-fishing my husband on our honeymoon. The little store is great- friendly people. The little restaurant is fine- though there are places a short distance away as well.

While we have either tent-camped or had a motorhome this campground offers various rental cabins, inexpensive showers that are decent (comparatively speaking). Good hiking. great hot springs, cold springs, picturesque views, plenty of small museums just south in Bishop (Railroad museum etc) and small casino in the North End of Bishop on the southbound side.

Its a great little escape- as long as people continue to keep it nice and clean

  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Natasha H., September 10, 2016
  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Natasha H., September 10, 2016
Keef W.
Reviewed Jul. 31, 2016

Hop on a pontoon

I bring my kayak here when I want to get away for a quick paddle. Waking up in the valley is a much better experience. With the access to trails you have you'll have more than enough to do, but if that gets old either fish convict from boat, or tackle the 15 minute drive over to crowley. Hot springs in winter, cold spring in the summer. Beware of keeping foods in your vehicles as bears are commonly seen near the campsite.

  • Review photo of Convict Lake Campground by Keef W., July 31, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to camp at Convict Lake Campground?

Camping at Convict Lake Campground can cost between $30.00 and $35.00 depending on the site.

What is the max vehicle length at Convict Lake Campground?

Convict Lake Campground allows vehicles up to 55 feet.

Are fires allowed at Convict Lake Campground?

Yes, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, fires are allowed at Convict Lake Campground, although make sure to check current fire restrictions in the area.

Does Convict Lake Campground have wifi?

No, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, Convict Lake Campground does not have wifi.

Is there cell phone reception at Convict Lake Campground?

According to campers on TheDyrt.com, Verizon signal is unknown, AT&T is unknown, and T-Mobile is unknown.

How hard is it to get a campsite at Convict Lake Campground?

Some campers book as far as 6 months in advance, so on high-demand weekends it can be very difficult to get a campsite at Convict Lake Campground. If you want to get a last-minute campsite at Convict Lake Campground, try setting up a text message Alert at TheDyrt.com/alerts

Why is it so hard to get a campsite at Convict Lake Campground?

There are 48 campsites at Convict Lake Campground and over 80 million Americans who camp! Try snagging a cancellation by setting up a text message Alert at TheDyrt.com/alerts