Mammoth Lakes, nestled in the Eastern Sierra region of California, is a paradise for nature lovers. With its stunning alpine scenery, crystal-clear lakes, and numerous outdoor activities, it’s no wonder that this destination is a favorite among camping enthusiasts.


Read on as we explore the lakeside camping experiences offered by two gems of Mammoth Lakes: Convict Lake Campground and Crowley Lake Campground.


If you’re seeking a stress-free camping adventure, we’ve got you! Adventure in Camping is your reliable companion for unforgettable RV trips. Kickstart your next Mammoth Lakes getaway by emailing us at or calling (844) 385-1863.


Convict Lake Campground

Situated alongside the pristine Convict Lake, this campground offers an idyllic lakeside camping experience, with a range of activities for outdoor aficionados and a jaw-dropping natural backdrop for relaxation and adventure. Whether you’re a nature lover, an angler seeking the thrill of fishing, or simply someone yearning for a tranquil escape, Convict Lake Campground promises an amazing outdoor adventure.


Location and Accessibility

Directions To Convict Lake Campground

Convict Lake Campground is 34 miles north of Bishop, California, along Highway 395. Simply head north on 395 from Bishop, and you’ll find the turnoff to the campground right across from Mammoth Yosemite Airport. The area is well-marked, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it. If you’re coming from Mammoth Lakes, just head south for 5 miles on Highway 395 and then turn west off the highway.


Nearby Amenities and Services

While Convict Lake Campground offers a rustic experience, you won’t be far from essential amenities and services, such as Mammoth Lakes Town. Located just a short drive away, you can find various options such as restaurants, grocery stores, outdoor gear shops, and more. This makes it convenient to stock up on supplies and enjoy a meal in town.


Campground Features and Facilities

Campsite Types and Reservation Information

Convict Lake Campground provides a range of campsite options, including both tent and RV sites. These campsites are open on a 6-month rolling basis (usually late April to the end of October) and tend to fill up fast during the busy summer months. To ensure that you have a spot, it’s advisable that you make a reservation ahead of time, particularly during peak seasons. You can book up to six months in advance through the website.



The campground provides various amenities to ensure your stay is comfortable:

  • Restrooms: Restrooms are equipped with flushing toilets.
  • Showers: Hot shower facilities are available.
  • Picnic Areas: Perfect for sharing meals and bonding with friends and family.
  • Food Storage Lockers: Safeguard your supplies from bears.
  • Dump Station: Easily dispose of waste using the provided dump station.
  • On-Site Firewood: Campers can conveniently purchase firewood at the campground.
  • Additional Amenities: Just a quick car ride to the Convict Lake Resort, you’ll find a store, pack station, boat rentals, restaurant, showers, and more.


Lakeside Camping Experience

One of the standout features of Convict Lake Campground is its lakeside campsites. Wake up to breathtaking views of Convict Lake and the surrounding mountains right from your tent or RV. The campsites are well-maintained, and many offer privacy. To secure the ideal lakeside spot, consider arriving early, especially during peak camping seasons.


Fishing at Convict Lake

Convict Lake is renowned for its fishing opportunities. Anglers can enjoy:

  • Shore Fishing: Cast your line from the lake’s shoreline.
  • Boat Fishing: Rent a boat for a more immersive fishing experience.


Types of Fish in the Lake

The lake is regularly stocked with various trout species, including rainbow and brown trout, making it a great spot for both beginners and experienced anglers.


Fishing Tips and Regulations

Before fishing at Convict Lake, ensure you have a valid California fishing license and adhere to all fishing regulations. Fly fishing is particularly popular here due to the abundance of insect life in the area.


Other Activities

  • Hiking Trails around Convict Lake: Explore the natural beauty of the area by hiking the scenic trails. The Convict Lake Loop Trail is a popular choice, offering magnificent views of the lake and nearby Laurel Mountain.
  • Photography and Wildlife Viewing: Capture the beauty of the Eastern Sierra and keep an eye out for local wildlife, including deer, squirrels, and various bird species. The picturesque landscape provides ample opportunities for photography.
  • Nearby Attractions and Day Trips: Don’t miss the chance to visit nearby attractions and embark on day trips. Explore the awe-inspiring John Muir Wilderness, spanning 100 miles atop the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Discover snow-capped peaks, deep canyons, and vast glacially-carved terrain, offering endless opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails.


Crowley Lake Campground

The Crowley Lake campgrounds offer an immersive lakeside experience paired with marvelous vistas of the surrounding Eastern Sierra mountains. From fishing in the lake’s abundant waters to engaging in spine-tingling water sports or simply slowing down on lakeside camping, Crowley Lake Campground offers a variety of recreational activities to suit all types of travelers.


Location and Accessibility

Directions To Crowley Lake Campground

From US Highway 395, take the Crowley Lake exit and head west. After 2 miles, turn right onto Crowley Lake Drive and continue for another 2 miles. Follow the signs to the campground.


Nearby Amenities and Services

While the campground offers a calm setting, essential amenities and services are within reach. A quick drive away, Mammoth Lakes provides access to restaurants, groceries, outdoor gear shops, and more. This ensures you have easy access to supplies and dining options.


Campground Features and Facilities

Campsite Types and Reservation Information

The Crowley Lake Campground provides different campsites suitable for both tent and RV campers. It is open for a 6-month period, typically between late April and the end of October. For the best experience, we suggest reserving your spot ahead of time to ensure availability during peak periods. Reservations can be conveniently made online through the website.



The campground provides amenities that enhance your camping experience:

  • Campsite Features: Sites include a fire pit, picnic table, and lantern holder. There are no hook-up facilities.
  • Water and Waste: Access potable water on-site and take advantage of the available dump station for $10.00 (no passes accepted).
  • Outdoor Activities: Choices abound with various activities such as lake and stream fishing, boating, windsurfing, horseback riding, hiking, and wildlife viewing.


Lakeside Camping Experience

The campground offers mesmerizing views of Crowley Lake and the Glass Mountains towards the east, along with the Sierra Nevada mountains, including McGee Mountain and Canyon to the west. The campsites are beautifully designed to provide a peaceful and alluring atmosphere.


To have the best lakeside camping experience, arrive early and secure a spot with unobstructed lake views. Create a cozy campfire and stargaze under the clear night sky for a memorable experience.


Fishing at Crowley Lake

Crowley Lake is renowned for its exceptional fishing opportunities. Fishing buffs will love any of the following:

  • Shore Fishing: Cast your line from the lakeshore to catch a variety of fish species.
  • Boat Fishing: Rent a boat to explore the lake’s prime fishing spots.


Related article: A Complete Guide to Fishing at Crowley Lake: Tips, Techniques, and Best Spots

Popular Fishing Spots and Techniques

Hot spots like McGee Bay, Layton Springs, and Sandy Point are known for their excellent fishing. 


The following are some techniques to effectively fish for the three main types of fish in Crowley Lake:

For Rainbow Trout:

  • Try trolling with lures.
  • Use small spinners.
  • Opt for fly fishing with streamers or dry flies.


For Brown Trout:

  • Consider live bait.
  • Try trolling with spinners or crankbaits.
  • Explore fly fishing with streamers or nymphs.


For Cutthroat Trout:

  • Use small jigs or spinners.
  • Try fly fishing with small nymphs or dry flies.
  • Consider trolling with small lures.


Fishing Regulations and Licenses

Ensure you possess a valid California fishing license and adhere to local fishing regulations, including catch limits, for a hassle-free fishing experience.


Water Activities

  • Boating, Kayaking, and Paddleboarding: Take advantage of the calm waters of Crowley Lake by engaging in activities such as boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Explore the lake’s beauty from a different perspective.
  • Water Skiing and Wakeboarding: For thrill-seekers, Crowley Lake offers opportunities for water skiing and wakeboarding, adding excitement to your visit.


Other Activities


Tips for a Successful Lakeside Camping Trip

  • Packing and Preparation
    • Camping Essentials Checklist: Ensure you have all the necessary camping gear, including tents, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, and first-aid supplies.
    • Fishing Gear and Tackle Recommendations: Pack your fishing rods, reels, lures, and other tackle essentials based on the type of fishing you plan to do.
  • Food and Cooking Options: Plan your meals and choose between campfire cooking, portable stoves, or pre-made camping meals.
  • Clothing and Gear for Various Weather Conditions: Be prepared for changing weather conditions by packing appropriate clothing and gear, including rain gear and warm layers.
  • Reservations and Permits: Book your campsite and obtain any necessary permits well in advance.
  • Leave No Trace Principles: Respect the environment by following Leave No Trace principles, leaving the natural beauty of Mammoth Lakes unspoiled.
  • Safety Considerations: Prioritize safety by familiarizing yourself with local wildlife and outdoor safety practices.
  • Maximizing Your Outdoor Experience: Embrace the tranquility and serenity of lakeside camping by disconnecting from technology and immersing yourself in nature.


Plan Your Lakeside Camping With Adventure in Camping

Convict Lake and Crowley Lake Campgrounds offer unparalleled lakeside camping experiences in the heart of the Eastern Sierra. Whether you’re an angler, a hiker, or simply seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of life, Mammoth Lakes has something for everyone.


So, pack your gear, make your reservations, and embark on a memorable camping adventure in this astonishing region!

To ensure a fully enjoyable trip, Adventure in Camping offers premium RV rentals for your convenience. Please feel free to contact us at  (844) 385-1863 or send a message here to learn more about our RV trailers and Mammoth Lakes campground options. Book your rental without delay today!