NFS campground Review – Convict Lake, Mammoth Lakes, CA
A forest service campground with lovely mountain views at ~7,900 ft near Mammoth Lakes in the Sierras in Central-East CA.
Link to campground here: Convict Lake Campground, CA
Link to map location here: Convict Lake Campground, CA
- Site Quality = 3.5/5
This campground has a mix of RV & tenting sites. For the RV sites all are paved back-ins, but there’s quite a bit of variation in size and levelness. The best bets for big-rig friendly sites are near the very entrance (esp. #2 & #85), near the middle (#32, 34, 36 – uneven, but some of the nicest views of the mountains) and the section at the end (#42-53 – largest & flattest of the lot). Layout is open with sparse to no shade, but you have decent separation, beautiful sweeping views from just about every site with the mountains of Convict Lake to the west (no direct lake views except for #2) and relaxing sounds from the creek. No hookups, but lovely “sitting areas” with picnic table, fire-pit, tent-site and (in some sites) bear-proof food storage.
- Facilities = 3.5/5
Good facilities for a forest campground. There are large, individual flush toilets (some of the nicest I’ve seen in a forest service site), but no showers. On-site dual dump station and several potable water taps around the campground.
- Location = 5/5
This is a wonderful location. You’re only a few miles off Hwy 395 and just ~6 miles south of Mammoth Lakes, yet you’re deep in the mountains with all the peace, beauty and views that affords. There is a small resort within walking distance from the campground that has a nice restaurant. Also on-site boat-ramp and marina rental plus plenty of lake activities (hiking, fishing, kayaking) and lovely day-use area. Direct access to hike for miles in the John Muir wilderness from the end of the lake loop.
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
Another great park for pooch. Plenty of space to hang out in camp plus many miles of hiking trails on-site including the lake loop and John Muir wilderness. Also easy access to the water. Nearby resort offers poo bags.
Overall Rating = 4.25
BONUS ALERT = Camp with stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountains!
Summary: What a lovely little spot! Convict Lake is a little gem in the mountains just south of Mammoth Lakes. It’s a primitive forest service campground with no hookups and sites that vary (quite a bit) in size and levelness, but everything is paved, the “sitting” areas are lovely, views are great and there’s a decent selection for bigger rigs esp. towards the middle and back of the campground. Access to the campground is two miles off Hwy 395 on a somewhat narrow, but very decent paved road. Within the campground there are a few tighter turns, but overall very do-able. The big bonus is the surrounding area. You’re right next to gorgeous Convict Lake with access to lake activities, fishing, miles of hiking, fabulous mountain views and even a small resort with restaurant. At this time of year (end Oct) the campground was all first-come-first-serve and relatively empty, but in peak season it’s partially reservable and does (I gather) gets popular. Overall a fabulous little area and there’s no doubt we’d come again.
Extra Info: Verizon signal was flirting between 1X and 3G, but usable. We were able to get a stable data signal using our external amp/antenna. Sites cost $21/night no hookups. 88 sites of which ~2/3 are for RVs. 25 sites reservable on-line in peak season. On-site dump station and potable water.
Extra, Extra Info – OTHER OPTIONS? Since we were here at the very end-of-season almost all of the NFS sites in the area were closed, but in peak season there are lots of other options around the area. Oh Ridge! seems a particularly nice and accessible campground which you can read about on Jerry & Suzy’s Blog over at Our Life On Wheels. There is also a free (apparently big-rig friendly) campground at Glass Creek, and $5/night BLM camping at Crowley Lake (currently closed but scheduled to re-open in 2012).SPONSORED LINK:
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this blog post may be affiliate links, so, if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a commission. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. WheelingIt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Jerry and Suzy LeRoy says
Thanks for the link to our blog! We wanted to get into that campground when we came south through there in late September, but it was closed for renovating! Yet there you are, or were just a short time after. Convict Lake was on our must do list because of our daughter’s recommendation, and now you’ve made an essential!
Don, I understand your points. The IVY portfolio was designed to replicate the allocations of the big endowment funds, like Harvard and Yale. One of the basic premises of those portfolios was to have broader allocations to ‘real assets’ like real estate and commodities. The allocation is basically 40% stocks, 20% real estate, and 20% commodities. Personally, investing in commodities for me is like jabbing myself with a small knife. Its very unpleasant. The only thing I dislike worse is investing in gold. I’ve even blogged about why I’ll never invest in commodities again. This is one reason I have not expanded the IVY beyond my IRA accounts. I’m now wrestling with going with the broader IVY 13 portfolio or changing the weightings of the allocations to more reflect what works for me. Whatever allocation we choose, whether it be the IVY one, or some other, it needs to fit with our personalities. As you say, you can like the logic but not agree with the weighting. And that’s OK. You can tweak the weighting to fit your convictions. Paul
Mammoth Lakes Camping says
George Dumont says
Will you have space for a 40ft. Long rig. Also, can it handle large 5th wheel trailer, through the mountains.
I don’t own the campground, but we camped there in a 40-foot rig and our friends stayed in a 42-foot tag. Not a ton of spaces that can accommodate those sizes in the campground, but there are a few. The road up and around the campground is a tad narrow in parts, but do-able.
Sean Gao says
Just checked, the fees increased to $23 per night. Must be a hot spot!
I have a lot of great memories of Convict Lake. As a kid we traveled there from Southern California every year. Great place to make wonderful memories. Now that I am retired and living in Washington we are beginning this fall to travel to Arizona for the winter. I think we will be making a stop here for at least a few days to reflect back a few years. Always did very well fishing so need to bring my pole. The creek always excellent for fly fishing. Can’t wait for Sept.