4th July Basin

Born Lakes is located in Sun Valley’s White Cloud Wilderness with access from the 4th of July Lake Trailhead. Drive north from Ketchum on Highway 75 for 47.5 miles to Fourth of July Creek Road. Turn right and drive approximately 9.5 miles to the trailhead. The road is accessible to passenger cars and horse trailers. The lakes are situated in a beautiful cirque basin surrounded by some of the highest summits in the White Clouds. The Idaho Fish and Game first stocked the Lakes in the late 60s to early 70s with both rainbow and cutthroat trout. Lakes 1, 2, and 3 have adequate tributary flows which allow some spawning (a rarity in Alpine Mountain Lakes) for natural reproduction. Lake 4 has fewer fish with little reproduction while the upper lake is fishless. I visited the lakes in 1980, 1996, 2000, and 2011 and have only caught cutthroat trout, no rainbows. Lake 2 is a little pond with lots of small inhabitants and good fishing in the connecting tributary. Because reproduction is limited, with no resent stocking by the Idaho Fish and Game, all fish caught should be released. Barb-less hooks with small black and green midge patterns size 18 and 20 are good bets to catch fish. The hike to the lakes is strenuous due to the elevation gains and losses on a well-marked trail. Snow will linger into mid-July on the north-facing trail. Mountain Bikes are allowed as far as the 4th of July Lake, with a strenuous ride due to the abrupt rise in topography. Although I did see Mountain Bikers at the 1st Born Lake in 2011, the riders gained access by carrying their cycles the majority of the way from 4th of July Lake. I also question the legality of having Mountain Bikes in this basin. Climbing opportunities of Patterson, Lonesome, and D.O. Lee Peaks (The White Clouds) are attainable from this basin. Wheelchair access to Phyllis Lake on a trail is also possible, however, the road to the trailhead can only be reached with a hardy 4 wheel drive vehicle.

Interactive Map

Trailhead Directions