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Convict Lake Loop Trail, CA

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Guide 5 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Sierra Nevada
3 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 2.58 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,591 feet
Elevation Gain 89 feet
Accumulated Gain 257 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 3.87
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
Inaugural Calculation next Tap
12  2016-07-20 John9L
4  2016-07-20 chumley
25  2013-10-11 slegal
1  2013-01-29 keepmoving
14  2003-08-04 slegal
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Sep, May, Oct → Any
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:35am - 4:45pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
0 Linked
Nearby Area Water
Laurel Lakes Trail
Laurel Lakes Trail
3.6 mi away
10.0 mi
2,800 ft
Toms Place Waterfalls
4.1 mi away
4.0 mi
Valentine Lake Trail
Valentine Lake Trail
4.5 mi away
8.4 mi
2,300 ft
Sherwin Lakes
Sherwin Lakes
5.5 mi away
5.6 mi
836 ft
McGee Creek Trail
5.9 mi away
11.0 mi
2,280 ft
Lake Virginia
7.2 mi away
26.5 mi
2,000 ft
Big McGee Lake
7.4 mi away
14.0 mi
2,500 ft
Barney Lake
7.5 mi away
6.5 mi
1,200 ft
Heart Lake - Inyo NF
Heart Lake - Inyo NF
7.5 mi away
2.2 mi
440 ft
Duck Pass Trailhead to Duck Lake
Duck Pass Trailhead to Duck Lake
7.5 mi away
8.0 mi
1,700 ft
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Fauna Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
majestic background
by slegal

Convict Lake is located in a glacial canyon southeast of Mammoth Lakes. The lake is one of the larger lakes in the area and is also pretty deep. What makes the lake so nice is that there are some very tall mountains as the south end of the lake that provide a very majestic background. Straight back from the trailhead is Laurel Mountain at 11,824'. Slightly to the left is Mount Morrison at 12,241'. They're not only tall, but they're rugged.

So how did Convict Lake get its name? In 1871 three prisoners at the Carson City State Penitentiary escaped. The three fugitives were confronted by Robert Morrison, a local merchant and posse member, at Monte Diablo Creek, later renamed Convict Creek. Morrison was killed in the confrontation. Mount Morrison is named after Robert Morrison.

The fugitives were later captured in nearby Round Valley. Two of them were hanged in Bishop and the third, who was a minor, was sent back to prison in Carson City.

Finding the trail is simple. Walk along the lake in either direction and when the pavement ends the trail begins. As far as hikes go, this is an easy one. Total mileage is 2.5 miles. The trail is very flat with only 40 feet of elevation gain. Most of the trail is in the sun. There are very few trees along the route except for sparse trees on the east side and more trees where convict creek empties in the Convict Lake.

One interesting part of the hike is where convict creek flows into the lake. The water level is frequently high and widely dispersed, so the forest service built and elevated boardwalk over the creek. From photos I posted on the hike you can see that the trail would have been impassible, since the creek was flooding. The base of the aspens in one of my photos were all under water.

    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Mammoth Lakes, head east on Highway 203 to Highway 395. Turn right on the onramp to the southbound Highway 395. Turn right on to Convict Lake Road. Take Convict Lake Road all the way to the end and park.
    page created by slegal on Mar 31 2011 10:55 pm
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