||7582 feet (2311 meters)
|Latitude (DMS format)
||Longitude (DMS format)
||Map on which this town can be found
|37° 35' 19"N
||118° 51' 31"W
Convict Lake is located in Central California
on the eastern slope of the scenic Sierra
Nevada Mountains. The picturesque lake is
found in southwestern Mono County, just a
few miles from one of America's most popular
ski resorts, Mammoth Mountain.
Convict Lake was featured in a Nature
Valley Granola Bar commercial and the 1998
film Star Trek: Insurrection. A 1951 film,
The Secret of Convict Lake, starring Glenn
Ford, Gene Tierney, Ethel Barrymore, Zachary Scott
and Jeanette Nolan, told a highly-fictionalized
version of the real-life story that follows.
Origin of its unusual name
Convict Lake received its name as the result of
a dramatic confrontation that took place there
between escaped convicts and a posse led by law
enforcement officer Robert Morrison. In 1871,
after escaping from a Carson City prison, a group
of criminals headed south into the Eastern Sierra
in an attempt to elude the pursuing posse. By the
time they'd made their way into the region, the
band of desperados had stolen horses, provisions,
weapons and murdered an innocent young man. The
outlaws ambushed the posse when they caught up
with them near the head of what is now Convict
Creek, taking the life of lawman Robert Morrison.
All but one of the convicts would eventually be
killed or recaptured.
Not only was the lake named for the incident, but one
of the spectacular mountain peaks that rises from
around the lake -- Mount Morrison -- was named in honor
of the lawman who gave his life in the line of
duty while attempting to apprehend the prisoners.
Mammoth Lakes, California (to the west)
Crowley Lake, California (to the east)
Bishop, California (to the southeast)
Time Zone: Convict Lake, California is in the Pacific Time Zone.
Over the years, points of interest in the region have included:
* Crowley Lake, east of Convict Lake
* Ansel Adams Wilderness, west of June Lake, California
* Mammoth Lakes, California, west of Convict Lake
* Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, west of Mammoth Lakes
* Devil's Postpile National Monument, west of Mammoth Mountain
* Yosemite National Park, northwest of Mammoth Lakes
* June Lake, California, north of Mammoth Lakes
* Obsidian Dome, north of Mammoth Lakes
* Mono-Inyo Craters, north of Mammoth Lakes
* John Muir Wilderness, southwest of Convict Lake
* Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve, north of June Lake, California
* Bodie State Historic Park (a gold-mining ghost town), north of Mono Lake
Recreational opportunities in the area
Camping, boating, fishing, hunting, skiing,
cross-country skiing, snowboarding,
snowshoeing, snowmobiling, hiking,
backpacking, rock climbing, picnicking,
swimming, canoeing, mountain biking, bird
watching, photography, wildlife viewing,
golfing, ATV riding and horseback riding.
Wildlife found in the Eastern Sierra
Bear, bighorn sheep, bobcat, chipmunk, coyote,
deer, jackrabbit, marmot, marten, porcupine,
squirrel and the reclusive mountain lion.
A seemingly endless variety of birds spend time
in the Eastern Sierra, including the dove, duck,
eagle, falcon, finch, goose, grouse, gull, hawk,
heron, loon, mockingbird, oriole, owl, pelican,
plover, quail, sandpiper, starling, swallow, swan,
vulture, warbler, woodpecker and wren.
Anglers will find outstanding fishing
in the region, with streams and alpine
lakes teeming with Brook, Brown, Cutthroat,
Golden, Rainbow and Alpers Trout.
NOTE: Neither Mammoth Lakes, nor Mammoth Mountain
is spelled "Mammouth" or "Monmouth" as is occasionally
reported by some uninformed sources.
U.S. map showing the location of Convict Lake, California
For an extensive list of other odd town names in the
United States, visit our page of unusual, bizarre or humorous names of towns.