Backpack to Born Lakes

8 Miles Round Trip - 2000 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

4th of July Lake Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Garren Moore

Traverse over a small divide into Ants Basin for the opportunity to see and camp at multiple crystal clear lakes with phenomenal mountain backdrops.

Due to it's higher-than-average starting point, many backpackers use this trailhead to access the remote parts of the Boulder-White Cloud wilderness. The trailhead for this hike, nestled at 8850', is readily accessible by Prius and Jeep alike as the gravel road is well maintained, notwithstanding typical wash-boarding. Within a few miles before the trailhead are some easy places to pull alongside the river and set up a tent overnight, if you're looking to pack up your gear and get an early start.

The first 1.5 miles of the trail are a mild incline and moderate-to-highly trafficked. Fourth of July Lake is a popular spot for folks looking to spend a day with the family. Before arriving to this first lake, there is a fork. To the right continues on to Chamberlain basin, but also 100 yards down the path provides a good view of Fourth of July Lake. It is worth taking a right at the fork for a short distance to see this lake.

After having gone right at the fork, backtrack to the fork and take the left (northerly) route. This route ascends from 9300' at the fork to 9900' at the top of the divide which is the highest point in the 4 mile hike. The views are spectacular overlooking Ants Basin. In the basin, you can see the path meander down below and continue it's west-northwesterly direction to Born Lakes.

The descent into Ants Basin is a drop of 330' in altitude over 1500' of distance which equates to the toughest part of the hike, especially on the way back. Take your time and use your trekking poles on the way down and back.

1.1 miles of some incline but mostly decline and you'll arrive at the first and second Born Lakes. The the and preferred lake, Born Lake 9555, is located a quarter mile up the trail.


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking


8 Miles
2000 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

Stay Nearby

Ketchum, Idaho

Chemeketan Campground

Lowman, Idaho

Outlet Campground

Lowman, Idaho

Glacier View Campground

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Lovely and Lonely

I love this trip. The view at the top of Ant's Basin is amazing. White Clouds are still somewhat quiet and are a hikers dream.

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