Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
7,971.00 ft (2,429.56 m)
Trail type
30.00 mi (48.28 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The White Cloud Peaks Wilderness is a premier hiking destination. The uniquely colored rocky peaks and sparking alpine lakes will excite and inspire hikers of all levels. 

The White Cloud Peaks Loop is a 30 mile moderately trafficked loop trail/route within the White Cloud Peaks Wilderness area located near the town of Stanley, Idaho. This scenic backcountry loop features alpine lakes, some cross country hiking, and some short, but steep, off-trail climbs. The technical portions of this loop may be physically challenging but do not require any advanced hiking skills. The trail is popular amongst hikers, trail runners, and backpackers. Some portions of the trail are open to motorbikes as well. 

The loop begins at the Fourth of July Creek Trailhead which has plenty of space for day and overnight parking. 

The loop begins with a 1.7 mile uphill hike along the Fourth of July Creek Trail. When you reach your first trail junction turn left on Trail 219 and continue along the scenic ridge trail for about a mile and a half until you reach a saddle between Blackman and Peterson Peaks. 

Descend into Antz Basin and continue to hike towards Born Lakes. Loop around the largest of the Born Lakes, head south and leave the main trail to climb up a wide rock gully. Boot prints and cairns will help guide you as you make your way to the next obvious saddle. At the top of the climb you will be rewarded by the awe inspiring appearance of the Four Lakes Basin. 

Carefully descend the steep slope and make your way to Emerald Lake. Continue along a fairly obvious trail in the direction towards Cornice Lake. Follow the faint foot paths towards Quiet Lake. The descent to Quiet Lake is steep and rocky, make sure to take it slow. 

Continue around the western shore of Quiet Lake and the eastern shores of Scree and Shallow Lakes. The northern end of Shallow Lake will complete your off-trail section. Turn right on a well-maintained trail and hike through the Boulder Chain Lakes area. At your next trail junction turn right and continue to hike parallel to Boulder Chain Lakes Creek. In 1.2 miles you will reach another junction, turn right onto the Livingston-Mill Divide Trail. 

The loop described here includes a 3-mile round trip out-and-back side trip to the Chamberlain Lakes. If you wish to visit these takes turn right at the junction with Chamberlain Lakes Trail. Lower and Upper Chamberlain Lakes are both popular places to camp. 

When you are back on the Livingston-Mill Divide Trail continue to hike for 3.4 miles. Turn right at Washington Lake Trail and continue to the intersection of Fourth of July Creek Trail where you will turn left and return back to the parking lot and your start.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round





Scenic views. Alpine lakes. Beautiful trail.


Lakes may be crowded.

Trailhead Elevation

8,782.00 ft (2,676.75 m)

Highest point

10,231.00 ft (3,118.41 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required




Do you know of a guide I could pay to take about five of us on the loop? We are all intermediate, good, strong hikers but I'm not confident in route finding and scramble in unfamiliar terrain.
Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.

You May Also Enjoy

Death Valley National Park, California
Death Valley National Park, California