Rediscovering Convict Lake

Byline: Bart Hall

Rediscovering Convict Lake

Before my wife and I were married, we were traveling in the Eastern Sierra. I wanted to impress her and take her to a nice restaurant, so I took her to the Convict Lake Restaurant. Gourmet food in a superb mountain setting: What could be more romantic? We have loved that place for the last 45 years.

But now, over the last two years we have begun to stay at Convict Lake for more extended periods. Over the last two years, we have taken our family and our Fred Hall crew to Convict Lake Resort.

The array of accommodations is fantastic.  Convict Lake Resort has room for a party of two or a party of 32 — literally.  There are one-room cabins, two-room cabins, three-room cabins and three magnificent vacation homes.

The Yosemite Vacation Home is the oldest and was built in the 1950s. It sleeps 23 and has views from every room.

The Mount Morrison Vacation Home was built in 2002 and is located on Mount Morrison slope.  It is the largest of the vacation homes and sleeps 34. It has views of the Glacial Moraine, Mount Morrison, Laurel Mountain and Laurel Ridge.

But the jewel of Convict Lake Resort is the Laurel Ridge House. Built in 2007, it sleeps 12, has a magnificent “great room” with a state-of-the-art kitchen, a hot tub in the backyard, a barbecue with a view, a spectacular master suite and, my favorite, a steam shower.

We have had the pleasure of staying at a one-room cabin, in the Yosemite Vacation Home and in the Laurel Ridge House.  They are all spectacular because they are at Convict Lake — which is nestled in the aspens of Convict Canyon below the towering peak of Mount Morrison and adjacent to a 170-acre crystal clear lake.

Convict Lake Resort provides the perfect setting for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, a special occasion or a base camp for your favorite Eastern Sierra adventure.

All of the cabins or houses are a one- to five-minute walk to a spectacular bar and one of the best restaurants found anywhere. The general store has most of the necessities that you need to make breakfast, lunch and a quick dinner.

The fleet of rental boats is mostly new and in great shape.

And then there is the creek. Convict Creek is loaded with big fish. You can see them from the road, but they can see you too. You need to find a spot where the water is flowing and you have a little cover.

Last year on a trip there, I had one of best days fishing any stream in the Eastern Sierra. I caught and released 10 large fish in an hour and a half of fishing. It was spectacular.

Earlier the day before, we trolled Convict Lake with lead core line and caught five really nice fish. The day before that, we got them early near the mouth of the creek that feeds into the south end of the lake, near the surface.

Convict Lake Resort is the perfect place for couples, families or a group of hard-drinking, rough-talking guys. Stop by and talk to the Convict Lake Resort representatives at the Fred Hall Shows — and stop by the patio area at the Long Beach Show and eat some of their spectacular food at the Convict Lake concession stand, near the Mammoth Lakes Kids Fish Free Trout pond.

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