Inlet to 4th of July Lake
Inlet to Fourth of July Lake

Family hiking,
camping, fishing

3.2 to 4 miles
round trip








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Boulder-White Clouds Council
Post Office Box 6313
Ketchum, Idaho 83340

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Fourth of July Lake


4th of July LakeTrailhead elevation: 8800 feet
Fourth of July Lake elevation: 9,365 feet
Elevation gain: 565 feet
Access: late-June through October
Road: 2-wheel drive, rough washboard surface
Car Camping: throughout Fourth of July canyon
Maps: Sawtooth NF, USGS Washington Peak, Boulder Chain

Features: wildlife, wildflowers, inlet meadow, unnamed ponds, trips to nearby Washington Lake, Ants Basin Divide, Ants Basin and Born Lakes.

Families often choose Fourth of July Lake for their first backpacking adventure and with good reason -- there’s lots to explore. The hardest part is driving over 10 miles of washboard road (quality, back country tires a must!) to the popular trailhead.

The well-used trail goes through a pristine canyon, full of wildflowers and moss-covered springs. The shoreline and inlet both have exquisite red and white mountain heather. Follow the meandering inlet to a beautiful meadow where deer are often seen.

Fourth of July Lake is the White Cloud’s most popular, but most use is day hiking. Campsites are each side of the lake and at more secluded areas nearby. Fish swim in the shallow water next to shore. Look for mountain goats on nearby Patterson Peak.

Cautions: Expect to see and hear some motorcycle traffic. Someday, a White Clouds Wilderness will bring only the sound of wind in the pines to this special place. Also, if you must have a fire, please use existing fire rings and gather firewood from afar, well away from the lake --at this high elevation, trees grow slowly. Keep horses and packstock away from the fragile lakeshore.

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