Patience during the long drive to the trailhead is amply rewarded by alpine scenery and fun for all users.
Features: Fall Colors — Lake — River/Creek — Swimming — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Good trail surface for the most part, a few eroded/rocky sections towards the saddle.
Start the Washington Lake trail from the Fourth of July trailhead. Be ready for uphill with plenty of rocks and a fair amount of hiker, backpacker & bike traffic right off the bat. The grade eventually lessens, flattening out before the trail junction with Antz Basin.
Stay straight to continue on Washington Lake trail, heading through a meadow and across the outlet to Fourth of July Creek Lake. Ridgelines from the White Cloud Mountains are prominent in the background. It's a stunning backdrop and just the beginning of an endless amount of amazing scenery. The route continues on a rolling traverse followed by a quick descent to the shores of Lake Washington.
Enjoy a little more downhill before passing through a large marshy meadow to an intersection with Washington Lake Creek trail. Stay straight/right on Washington Lake trail through the valley to another short climb. The trail then descends consistently to Germania Creek trail. Note: bikes are allowed on this trail.
Flora & Fauna
Runners enjoy the abundant wildflowers in the warmer months, while anglers fish in Fourth of July Lake.