Photo © Londie Paldesky
Convict Lake located in Mono County got its name after an incident in 1871, where a group of convicts escaped from prison in Carson City, Nevada. A posse, led by Sheriff Robert Morrison, encountered the convicts near the head of what is now Convict Creek. Morrison was killed in the encounter, and Mount Morrison was named after him. Convict Lake, elevation 7,850 feet, is known for its fishing and the dramatic mountains (including Mount Morrison) that surround the lake.
Today visitors escape to Convict Lake for fishing, hiking, horseback riding, camping, and to enjoy fine dining at the Convict Lake Restaurant. Campgrounds, cabin rentals, a boat launch, and general store are located adjacent to the lake. The Inyo National Forest Convict Lake Campground is just across the road from the Convict Lake Resort with 88 sites.
The simplest thing to do is to take the three-mile hike around the rim of Convict Lake, but fishing is probably the most popular thing to do. Convict Lake is stocked weekly with rainbow trout, and nearby Convict Lake Resort offers fishing classes and guided fishing trips, along with horseback riding and boat rentals.
Fishing derbies are held throughout the season at Convict Lake - try your luck at catching a monster trout from a boat, float tube or from the shore. Ride by horseback on a guided trail ride or poke around for 500-year old fossils in the metamorphic rock formations. Autumn is the perfect time to visit Convict Lake, with brilliant fall colors and excellent fishing.