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.
- 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:
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