Fourth of July Lake Trail is a 11.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Markleeville, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Beautiful long day hike with stops at four lakes (Woods, Winnemucca, Round Top, and Fourth of July). Eight miles in and out with a great shady picnic spot at Fourth of July Lake. Trailhead parking at Wood's Lake off Highway 88 just west of Carson Pass. $5.00 parking/day hiking pass required.
Beautiful views of the Sierra, we spent two nights at the lake last week and the weather was perfect. Take a day hike up towards the peaks to the west for some amazing wilderness.
The climb out from the lake up to the saddle between Fourth Of July Peak and the sisters takes about an hour and a half.
It was a great challenge and totally worth completing in my three day, two night trip.
Did this hike last Saturday (7/23/2016) and started from the Carson Pass trailhead. I was surprised by the amount of people on the trail (my reason for deducting 1-star), but the majority of day-hikers stopped at either Winnemucca or Round Top Lake. The final descent to Fourth of July Lake deters a lot of casual hikers, but is highly rewarding.
This particular hike makes for a great start to a 50 mile trip or for an over-nighter. The mileage and map are correct when starting from Carson Pass. I have done this hike many times over the years. There are a few options.
The best is to start from Carson Pass where the Ranger Station is. It is 5.5 miles to the lake. The majority is uphill with the last 1.5 a fairly steep downhill. You can also start from Woods Lake. It is only 4 miles. You can hike to Winnemucca which is 2 miles from Woods Lake or you can hike to Round Top which is also 2 miles from Woods Lake and then continue on from either to Fourth of July Lake.
There are 6 designated campgrounds. The first three are located in the trees on East side of the Lake and the other three are located on the North side in the grassy area. If it is windy, it is better to be in the trees.
Hiking out is a little more challenging then going in. First you hit a bunch of switchbacks while still in the trees. Once you are out of the trees, it is a long section that goes with the shape of the mountain. The last 1/4-1/2 mile is steep with a couple of switchbacks. It is smooth sailing from there as you head back to the trailhead.
The lake itself is beautiful. It was much lower than normal this year but made for a nice beachfront. It is filled with a ton of brook trout. Mostly about 6 inches long. Of course being high in the Sierra's allows for great star gazing.
I have a 4lb. Kayak meant for Alpine Lakes called the Packlite by Advanced Elements that I brought in with me the last time. It made for some fun paddling around the lake.
I highly recommend this hike, whether for overnight or a day hike.
Beautiful long day hike with stops at four lakes (Woods, Winnemucca, Round Top, and Fourth of July). (CURRENT INFORMATION REGARDING MAP LOCATION AND MILES IS INCORRECT)
Fourth of July Lake is a beautiful lake located south of Round Top Lake just north of the Summit City Creek Canyon. The trailhead starts at Woods Lake off Hwy 88 just west of Carson Pass. Eight miles in and out with a great shady picnic spot at Fourth of July Lake. Trailhead parking at Wood's Lake has $5.00 parking/day hiking pass required. I prefer to hike first to Winnemucca Lake, then up to Round Top Lake and finally over to the saddle between The Sisters and Fourth of July Peak which then drops down to Forth of July Lake. On return I head down from Round Top Lake to Woods Lake making a great return loop. The views are spectacular with Deadwood Peak jutting up from the Summit City Creek Canyon to the south and Pyramid, Agassiz, and Price Peaks to the North! The end of July still had plenty of wildflowers to view along the trail.
This is a beautiful area and you can take in Winemuca and round top lakes. Great sunset views from the ridge near round top lake west to the Central Valley. 4th of July lake has a sandy beach along the side opposite of the camp sites. Nice spot to bring 1st time backpackers - not too far, and if they don't complain much climbing back to the ridge, you can go with them again somewhere else!
To me this was a moderate trail. Going down to 4th of July Lake it's steep and easy, but hiking back up it's another story. Beautiful lake ! they say about 2 miles from round top...but i think it's more like 3 miles hike to 4th of July. Beautifulllllll View:))))) worth seeing maybe in spring when the wild flowers come alive...end of September was not so colorful.