Beauty and tragedy at 7,850 ft.
Convict Lake is located in the Sherwin Range of the Sierra Nevada.
The 3 mile loop trail follows the shoreline around the lake.
Rugged peaks and Laurel Mountain, rising almost 5,000 feet above Convict Lake, creates a stunning alpine backdrop.
In February 1990, Convict Lake was the site of a major drowning. Twelve teenagers and two counselors from a nearby camp were on a holiday outing at Convict Lake. At least four teenagers and both adults fell through the thin ice and into the water. By the time the first rescuer arrived on the scene, only one teenager had been able to pull himself out of the water, but the other teenagers were no longer in sight, having apparently already drowned. In all, three teenagers from Camp O’Neal, an institution for juvenile delinquents located near Whitmore Hot Springs, and four would-be rescuers drowned in the freezing water. Another youth and a volunteer fire chief were rescued. Shortly before their deaths, the youths were warned that the ice was too thin to support their weight but failed to heed the warning.
The trail meanders through open sagebrush country and groves of pine and aspen.
Convict Lake is a mile-long, 138-foot-deep glacial lake nestled in a bowl, also known as a tarn.
On the northeast shore, a boardwalk bridge crosses over Convict Creek.
Drive highway 395 north or south to Convict Lake Road. Located 4.4 miles south of Mammoth Lakes highway 203. Follow Convict Lake Road for 1.8 miles and turn right into the Trailhead parking. You can also continue to the end of Convict Lake Road to Convict Lake Picnic Area and park at the lakes edge.