Upper Blue Lake to Fourth of July Lake

Hope Valley, California

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1 Review
4 out of 5
This route from Upper Blue Lake is definitely the back way to picturesque Fourth of July Lake, as most visitors reach the lake from the extremely popular trails emanating from Woods Lake and Carson Pass trailheads. Potentially, your group may be the only ones on the trail all the way from the trailhead through lonely Summit City Canyon and up to the lake. Due to the area’s popularity, camping at Fourth of July Lake is limited to six designated sites available only with a reservation.

Upper Blue Lake to Fourth of July Lake Professional Review and Guide

"This route from Upper Blue Lake is definitely the back way to picturesque Fourth of July Lake, as most visitors reach the lake from the extremely popular trails emanating from Woods Lake and Carson Pass trailheads.

Potentially, your group may be the only ones on the trail all the way from the trailhead through lonely Summit City Canyon and up to the lake. Due to the area’s popularity, camping at Fourth of July Lake is limited to six designated sites available only with a reservation."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Hope Valley
Distance: 9
Elevation Gain: 1,150 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 4.5 to 5 hours
Season: Best mid-July to mid-October
Local Contacts: Eldorado National Forest at 209-295-4251, www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado
Local Maps: ENF, SNF, HTNF A Guide to the Mokelumne Wilderness

Upper Blue Lake to Fourth of July Lake Reviews

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8/17/2013
Upper Blue Lake to 4th of July Lake - 88 side level difficult, 9 mi, +/-1150' elev gain, 8500+' elev at highest Length:9 total miles Elevation Gain:1,150 feet Trail Type:Out-and-back Skill Level:Difficult 4.5-5 hr Upper Blue Lake Campground is way off the beaten path! we were at site 94 so we had no campers behind or beyond us, We got up there before 2pm friday and had a few sites to chose from, by the end of the evening the campground was full. We saw the hike trailhead on the way in so we walked to it Sat morning. The trail: this was a tough one! we were exhausted by the end of it! so it was about 1 mile steady incline, which is normal, then 2 miles steady downhill and some of it was steeeepppp - which may sound good, but the trail is out and back so that's 2 miles steady and sometimes steep on the hike out! then about a half mile semi flat, then a mile of very steady steep incline, switchbacks, loose rocks, dust, and and no shade. Hopefully you can tell by the pix! it's beautiful over there - a section of the hike was in pretty thick forest, we were close to a stream for a while but once we passed that there was no more watering holes for the dogs til the top. There was a nice breeze on the last mile up, but the sun was just relentless - this was so difficult was because of the down hill being so steep and on going on the way in and knowing we had to face it uphill on the way out. I do recommend this trip - but make sure you're ready for a difficult hike that is very tiring. It was 9 miles and took us about 3-1/2 hours each way - it wasn't easier out than it was in for sure!
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