dogs on leash
For as far as we went up the trail along the creek it was a fairly easy, gorgeous walk. The real treat is the hot Sulphur water hot tub (with various temperature inlets to adjust the water to your liking) near the trailhead, clothing optional.
Great hike. Starts out with a relatively flat walk through forest, then gradually gets steeper after about 2 miles. The grade is never overwhelming, as there are many switchbacks. The lake itself is beautiful, as are the views along the way of the surrounding peaks. We went mid-September and the lake was clear and there was snow only up above on the higher peaks.
Hiked from 4th of July trailhead to Washington lake and made camp there. Then off to upper Chamberlain Lakes for a night. That was approximately 6 miles with the last 2 up hill and require decent conditioning on the hikers part. We then traveled back to 4th of July Lake for the last night. That was 7.2 miles or so and made for a tiring hike. After sleeping there it was a brisk 1.2 or so downhill back to the trailhead. We saw seven mountain goats at the upper chamberlain. Once during the first evening there and the they revisited the morning we left. Also saw a health doe while trekking back to 4th of July.
James H. on Elk Mountain Trail
Best short ride while in sun valley. Bit of a road climb to start but well worth it once you get on to the single track. Fantastic scenery and nothing too technical other than some rocks at the top.
Quick but steep hike. It starts off kind of hard if you haven't hiked in awhile. Eventually it levels off and the views are amazing. The steepness means you gain elevation pretty quickly and the breeze off the lake was a little chilly.
Saw a couple pika while on the mountain and only one other person was fishing on the other side of the lake. Fish were biting at the little bugs so a good, peaceful fishing spot!
Definitely will do it again and will bring fishing gear.