Hiking Convict Lake


Over the holidays we spent a week in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in one of our favorite mountain getaways, Mammoth Lakes. On the outskirts of town, right off of Highway 395 is Convict Lake. This picturesque spot is no stranger to my family as we have fished here many times. This winter, we discovered the Convict Lake Trail, a 2.5 mile loop around the lake.

This is an easy and fun hike, perfect for families, morning strolls and dogs that need to walk their humans.


Yes, this is a great place for young boys to burn off some energy…


…and toddlers to tire out.


We hiked this trail just before New Years. It was not busy, but there were a handful of other families on the trail as well. I would imagine that this trail is VERY busy spring through fall. If you hit the path then…perhaps go early?

At the end of December, it was gorgeous! There was only one patch of ice that we found on the entire loop.


What we did find though…were some awesome photo opps!


That is a serious background right? The light was just perfect in late morning to be on the south side of the lake.


This reflection seems to go on for days!


Clearly the view around the lake inspires creativity! We found this fun little hut and the boys loved trying to squeeze the whole family inside.

The Hike


Here is the low-down on the hike:

  • 2.5 mile loop
  • This is an EASY hike
  • No official trailhead, simply start walking around the lake
  • Ample parking, but it probably fills quickly on a beautiful summer day
  • Restrooms near the main parking area
  • The path varies from dirt, cement, rock and boardwalk (wooden plank)
  • Elevation is over 7,500 feet
  • The path does have a slight elevation gain, but not much.
  • The loop is not stroller or wheelchair accessible, however, portions of it are

You can find more details, including the history of the lake, HERE.

I was honestly surprised by how beautiful this lake is in the winter. It is well worth a peak…and it has such a different vibe from the summer. After a couple months of being off the trail, this was just the kick-start that I needed!


Have you walked this trail in the winter?

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