Explore the most popular birding trails near Twin Lakes with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I loved the hike but had issues with The AllTrails route a few times. And walking up the 4x4 road at first was concerning but the hike got Way better! It is worth it to go just a touch past the turnaround and visit the Lily Ponds.

hiking
16 days ago

Wow
Was doing training for COLORADO Trail this summer
Took full 27 pound pack for training
Perfect weather
Really tiring elevation change
Had snow n ice on trail
Got worst as you went higher
Turned around about have away
Did not want to take a chance of slipping n falling with full pack
Great signage

This was my first 14er. Not from altitude, and even with both Tylenol 1g and 400mg ibuprofen I still had a pounding headache above 12.5k. That didn't stop me from loving this hike though.

Really tough. Super short of breath. But the views at the end were absolutely amazing. The hike up varied a lot in terrain, and I loved every section of it. Coming down was hard. Lost my way a few times even with a GPS app since the trail was not well marked.

Would do this again.

This was the most brutal hike I've ever been on. Man it was hard. I was 28 and in solid shape at that time, but everything after 13,500f was a struggle. My dog and I made it to the top, though most people we met who started the trail had to turn around. It's worth it though! On the way down a giant piece of rock went flying between me and my dog - we were lucky not to get hurt. Make sure you get on the trail before 7am.

cross country skiing
2 months ago

A solid intro to back country skiing. Pretty easy-going. My dad and I did this about a month ago and there was just enough snow to ski, but plenty of snow-shoers and micro-spiked hikers did just fine out there.

I was able to summit on 2/17/2018. Snowshoes came in handy up to the tree line but I would not say they were needed, descended with just my micro spikes. Microspikes are a must if you don't have snow shoes. The winds were brutal, 40+ MPH. Manny of the groups ahead of me turned around due to the winds. This is a long day due to the added milage at the winter parking (you can only make it about 0.25 up the summer 2 track road). Views at the top are beautiful and you are the highest person in Colorado!

I love this trail, we hiked it at the end of September and loved it. The wind had picked up to 30-40 mph at the summit. Beautiful

This is a really beautiful loop! Perfect fall foliage hike, even though we were about a week past peek. Highly reccommend.

Tough hike with beautiful scenery!

Starts with a beautiful hike through the woods, with a soundtrack of running water from the creek right along the trail. Above tree line, gorgeous views. A long and challenging hike that requires some endurance. We accidentally got off trail and did some precarious scrambling over boulders near the top - don't stray too far from the sandy trail. That said - the sandy trail/loose rock does get slippery and makes it tricky to keep your footing on the descent. We started at 9am which is too late for this 14er, especially at our slow pace - we finished at 8pm, just as it got dark! Lesson: start at sunrise.
Overall - this is a GORGEOUS and CHALLENGING hike.

Beautiful long and hard trail Bring good shoes and poles lots of rocks and steep going down at the end

hiking
8 months ago

We are out-of-towners that camped at Twin Lakes. We hiked this trail our first day in the mountains as it was close to base and rated moderate. Nice way to get adjusted to the altitude and catch some scenery. Beautiful views of the lakes!

My two sons and wife and I did this Trail on eclipse day August 21 2017. We started at 6 am from the trailhead and reached south Mt. Elbert (14,150 ft) at 11 am and trekked over to Mt Elbert (14,439 ft) summited at 12:15. Return took about 4 hours. This was a long good day. Our two Fitbits showed the total ROUND TRIP to be about 18 miles. Trust me, be prepared for a big day of cardio.

Very difficult and steep climb the last 2 miles or so through rock patches, difficult to discern where the trail is at times but part of the adventure in climbing a 14er. Almost turned around but glad we made it. After you get over the ridge, there's a traverse along the ridge to the top that is breathtaking.

hiking
9 months ago

Excellent. This was my first 14er, and took me about 8 hours to do. Things I should've done: start earlier (plan to be on the trail 15-30 min before sunrise), and spend an extra day acclimating.

Went with my nephew on 08/03/17, amazing climb. As I have heard/read, it was the best trail for the views and it was amazing. I don't know if I'd suggest this trail as your 1st 14er though. It was certainly hard for the both of us, luckily we met some other guys from our home state of Texas, we all kind of fed off each other and got it done. One of them had done Elbert before on the North trail and said it is much easier.
Before you get to the ridgeline, the trail switch backs and is pretty steep. This part of the trail got a bit tiresome for us. Once on the ridge you get a bit of a boost of energy as it levels out at parts but still is a difficult last 1.5 miles or so. Careful going down as the steep trails you see going up are not too secure on your decent.

Great hike yesterday. Dry conditions. Trail is easy to follow until you get to the last 1500 feet then you need to look for the best route between rock cairns.

Great hike for first time hikers!
Amazing waterfalls and Lake.
And the view of the Mountains, Aspen Trees and Wildflowers are incredible!

Great hike with so much beauty along the way, highly recommend. Aspens, wildflowers many streams and a beautiful waterfall! We took the lower trail in and back as the upper is a 4x4 road. Hiked to Lilly Pond and saw the beaver dam, go to end end of the small lake, turn around and prepare for the gorgeous view! The trailhead is called Mt. Elbert and this trail is part of the continental divide trail.

Definitely a strenuous hike--the elevation gain is tough, but the scenery and views at the summit are unmatched.

Do your homework before attempting this.

hiking
10 months ago

Amazing hike very well worth the work. It is a tough one for sure but the views at the top are second to none. Trail is in great shape well distinguished at lower elevations and Marked well with cairns at higher elevations. This is a no joke hike the gain is 4300 feet from the trailhead. I recommend staring early. We started at 6:30 am and summited around 1. The most pica and marmot I've seen on a 14 er yet well worth the work.

Climbed on 4th of July 2017. Beautiful weather. A few snow fields remain but no problems simply walking around them. Once you're on the ridge (which is after about 3 miles of steep hiking) the trail can be a little tricky to find but in good weather there is no doubt where you need to go. Not a lot of cairns. Saw Beautiful wildflowers, grouse, and a marmot. This was tough on my 59 year old legs but well worth the memories.

We had a wonderful time on this trail. Took the lower trail both ways because the upper trail is a 4x4 road. Wildflowers were out in full force. Enjoyed seeing Lily Pad Lake at the end.

hiking
10 months ago

We started at 6:30am and summited by 10:30am. It's quite the hike even for active Coloradans, but worth it. We heard and saw lots of Marmots. If you can start earlier than 6:30am then I recommend it. The trail is nice and shaded on the way up with the angle of the sun but on the way back down the sun was burning hot. Our pup loved all the streams in the first couple miles and then last couples miles. It helped keep her cool. I'm not sure if people every see noise around there but it seemed like a spot they would be found.

hiking
11 months ago

Friend and I hit the trail just after 8am. Took about 2h30m to get up. Trail is almost completely dry besides a few very small snow patches that are easily crossable. Not much wind up top and it was a beautiful sunny day. Took about 2h to get back down to the bottom.

backpacking
11 months ago

Great first 14er for anyone interested in hiking/backpacking. Completed this in two days. The first day was a short hike to the base of the mountain to the designated campgrounds. Second day was the hike to the summit and back to the parking lot. GREAT CLIMB! Fun photo op with LA PLATA street signs at the summit.

There was plenty of changing terrain and absolutely stunning views once you get to the ponds. However, on the way down there was tons of run off at least calf deep which isn't easily hiked over without getting wet.

Amazing views of the mountains and river. Mid-June weekend and ran into few hikers, which is NICE.

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