Fourth of July Lake Trail

MODERATE 46 reviews
#17 of 104 trails in

Fourth of July Lake Trail is a 11.1 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.

Distance: 11.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,319 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

snow

fee

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail. Saw quite a few people in the beginning but it thinned out after Winnemucca lake. Loved the scenery & views up on top before the descent to Fourth of July Lake, and the lake itself was wooded, secluded, and had that cozy alpine feel.

Wow! What a challenge! So beautiful. Trail is very well marked and up kept. So many beautiful lakes! Prepare for wind.

hiking
2 months ago

great trail. we took evergreen instead of summit city with plans to take a trail on the us topo map but it no longer exists so we had to bushwhack up to summit city - not sure if recommend but we had no issues with trail matinenece as mentioned in other reviews. staying at frog lake was awesome, highly recommend camping there. all the lakes were gorgeous though, so you can't chose wrong. the views were incredible for large swathes of the trail. would easily do this trail again.

hiking
4 months ago

Several snow fields but passable. Tough hike but worth it. Very few people passed Winnemucca. Wildflowers aren’t in full bloom (yet?) but still pretty.

hiking
muddy
snow
5 months ago

Hiked on July 6, 2019. The trail up to Winnemucca lake still has patches of snow. The rangers have done a good job up to that point of tagging trees with orange ribbon to locate the trail as it disappears under the snow quite often. Anything past Winnemucca lake is still 80% covered in snow until the ridge (or so we were told). Turned around just short of the ridge..too much snow for us! Going to be awhile till all of it melts. Absolutely beautiful hike though.

hiking
Mon Sep 10 2018

beautiful. We started at trailhead that leads to winemucca lake, then up to round top lake, then down to fourth...coming back up from fourth is a steep one. We're females in average shape but do hike a lot, clocked 11 miles out and back in about 6 hours. Saw a tarantula! Pretty flowers. I sunburnt, she didn't...both shady and exposed areas.

Sun Aug 26 2018

One of the most beautiful hike we have done in California so far (and we hike a lot). We went to the 4th of July lake. It is also the 4th lake you can see from this trail. The way back is harder but overall the hike is moderate. Beautiful views from everywhere. Each lake is different. We saw few guys skying on a 10 ft long snow patch....

hiking
Sun Jul 01 2018

Beautiful trail and it is a great time to hike this trail (6/30) as spring flowers are in full bloom. Trail is almost clear of snow to Fourth of July Lake, only a couple of patches to cross. Great trail, can get hot so bring lots of water or a filter.

hiking
Tue May 29 2018

Did this hike yesterday (5/28). There is still a LOT of snow so be prepared. We made it to Frog Lake following some stick arrows, rock piles, and footsteps in the snow. We made it to Winnemucca Lake following snow foot prints. We attempted to make it to Round Top Lake but ended up at Woods Lake on accident (we saw a lake in the distance and headed for it). I highly recommend snow shoes or gaiters for your hiking boots. It is a tough trek with the snow but SO BEAUTIFUL. We look forward to coming back in the fall when the snow is gone and actually completing the hike.

hiking
Sun Oct 29 2017

The climb down is fine, getting back up will slow people down. Great scenic hike! I"ll go back.

hiking
Sat Jul 22 2017

Beautiful hike!!

Thu Sep 22 2016

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.

backpacking
Tue Aug 02 2016

It was a great challenge and totally worth completing in my three day, two night trip.

hiking
Tue Jul 26 2016

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.

hiking
Wed Oct 14 2015

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.

hiking
Tue Jul 29 2014

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.

hiking
Sat Aug 17 2013

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!

hiking
Fri Sep 21 2012

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.

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