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Fourth of July... in October?

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

We are so tired of all the wildfire smoke, so we chased some blue sky for today's Sunday hike. Many regions were smoked out from the wildfires, so we decided to drive down to Carson Pass. It was still a little smoky and, as per usual, we were rushed to get back out before sundown. This hike felt really tough despite the stats. 2327' elevation gain that felt like at least 3000'. Not sure if the way out or back was more challenging, but the lake was a beautiful reward.

We started at the trailhead at Blue Lakes. We've hiked in the vicinity of Fourth of July Lake when we hiked to Round Top Lake in the past, but we'd never made it all the way. It was a challenging hike! No reprieve... you're either hiking up or hiking down the entire way. But, as I said, it was worth it once you see the lake.

Some smoke in the air.

I always stop to check out creeks and waterfalls.

Beautiful Sierra landscape scenery along this hike.

Our Reward: Breathtaking and pristine Fourth of July Lake.

We had the entire lake to ourselves. We didn't come across another hiker the entire time.

We stopped at the lake just long enough to have a snack and take a few photos, and then we began the race back down before sunset.

Smoke is collecting in the valley.

This hike was a little on the challenging side, but the scenery along the way and beautiful lake all to ourselves was definitely worth it.

Fourth of July Lake

Total Distance

8.68 mi

Total Time


Total Ascent

2,372 ft

Max Elevation

8,621 ft


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