Southern Mono County - Half Day Itinerary
Hot Creek Geologic Site
Hot Creek Geologic Site is a place to marvel at geology in action. What remains of the ancient Long Valley Caldera blast is an area of fascinating geological wonders of bubbling hot springs, geysers and fumaroles (gas vents) creating colorful sulfur deposits and formations. The chamber of hot magma lies about three miles below the surface of the earth in this area. The brilliant pools are scalding hot and water temperatures can change rapidly, so entering and swimming in the water is prohibited. Restrooms are available. Located about 10 miles south of Mammoth Lakes off U.S. Highway 395. Take Airport Road (east) past the airport turnoff. You will pass the Hot Creek Fish Hatchery and continue on a partially paved road about 3 miles to the parking area for Hot Creek, then it's an easy 1.5 miles along Hot Creek Trail to the site.
The warm springs of Hot Creek provide ideal temperatures for incubation of trout eggs. The Fish Hatchery is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for self-guided tours. Interpretive tours are available by appointment. For more information, call the Department of Fish and Wildlife at 760-934-2664. Located about 6 miles south of Mammoth Lakes off U.S. Highway 395. Take Airport Road (east) past the airport turnoff. Follow the signs.
Convict Lake is named for the result of an ambush encounter on Sept. 17, 1871, when a group of inmates escaped from prison in Carson City; Sheriff George Hightower eventually caught up with the convicts and a shootout took place. Robert Morrison, a Benton merchant, Mono Jim and other posse members encountered the convicts on the present Convict Creek. In the encounter, Morrison and Mono Jim were killed, and the convicts escaped only to be captured later in Round Valley. The towering peak above the lake was renamed Mt. Morrison and the smaller one below it Mono Jim. Convict Lake is popular for camping and fishing. Take a two-mile hike on Convict Lake Loop, which winds around the lake and offers views of rugged mountain scenery and sheer cliffs, as well as the oldest rocks in the Sierra Nevada Range. The Restaurant at Convict Lake is widely recognized as one of the finest restaurants in the Eastern Sierra, offering sumptuous continental cuisine, an award-winning wine list and a martini bar. Located 10 miles south of Mammoth Lakes off U.S. Highway 395, turn west on Convict Lake Road.
Crowley Lake offers some of the most exciting trout fishing in California. Crowley Lake is a man-made lake that's 12 miles long and 5 miles wide. The lake is a large reservoir that supplies water and power to Los Angeles. Although famous for trout fishing, Crowley Lake also offers various other water sports, such as kayaking, water skiing, wake boarding, wake surfing, kite surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. Crowley Lake Fish Camp, the only concession on the lake, is operated in cooperation with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. All visitors, boats and campers must access the lake through Crowley Lake Fish Camp. Crowley Lake Fish Camp offers a full-service marina with 200-plus private slips, a fleet of 84 rental boats, rental cabins, full hook-up RV sites, dry camping sites, a tackle shop and convenience store. Located 13 miles south of Mammoth Lakes off U.S Highway 395; turn east on Crowley Lake Drive.