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.

1. This is longer than 8.3. More like 9.5. Consider that for time. We started at 5.20 am and we were in the car at 1pm. We hike a pretty average pace, but most people we going significantly slower.

2. DON'T MISS THE TRAIL TURNOFF! If you're walking in the dirt road for more than 10 minutes, you may have missed it. It's easy to do in the dark, even with headlamps, and one guy we met missed it by 40 mins. It's about 5 mins down the trail on the left.

My family, husband, son (21) and daughter (19) decided to hike this steeper ascent trail as my knees are great going up but kill me on downhills. We parked at the southeast Massive trailhead and hiked the road the 2 miles to the sw trailhead.
This sw hike is no joke, very steep and while nothing hurt on me, it was just hard. You reach the saddle where the sw and se trails meet then you go up the last .3 to the summit. It's a fairly easy ridge but you're scrambling some. The views are amazing!
We descended down the 6+ mile se trail which still bothered my bad knee but the sw trail was not doable at all for me which is why we parked where we did and made it a loop. The mileage is about the same if you do it that way vs the out and back on the se trail.
I'd say if you have good knees and a very steep descent doesn't bother you then the sw trail shaves off about 5+ miles.

hiking
9 days ago

Nice little hike, easy to do quickly. The roads to get to the trailhead can be a bit confusing, but the AllTrails map has the location right and got us there. This drive was also doable in a 2wd minivan, so don't get nervous about the road. Loved the various historic buildings, including going in Dexters house! Excited to check back in a few years on how the restoration is going.

On the other side of the lakes is a canoe/kayak rental that offers a nice view of the buildings from the water, check that out as well! Guy goes by Johnny Canoe, so you know it'll be a good time.

hiking
11 days ago

‘Trail’ is completely on 4 wheel drive road entire way to pond.
Great views overlooking Twin Lakes and surrounding mountains. Lily Pond is a beaver pond with beautiful Mountain View’s behind it. All the other ‘ponds’ that are noted on the map - going up to Lily pond - are dried up.

13 days ago

Brutal climb, but worth it. Gorgeous views, flora and wildlife. Plan for 6-8 hours on Elbert. Start early for sunrise and missing potential weather. We slackpacked with granolas, 100 oz water, rain jacket and emergency bivy. Took 7 hours, and we stared at 5am. ENJOY!

Quite difficult, but worth it when you get to the top. Bring warm clothes!

hiking
15 days ago

Fun, relaxing walk for an afternoon. A little up and down but overall easy and nice. Beautiful, towering aspen groves. A nice little stream. Great Lake and mountain views. Interlaken site interesting. Trailhead to the left worked for our sedans. Closer trailhead looked harder for low clearance cars.

Road to the trailhead is rough. There’s a spot 1/3 mile from the trailhead my 4x4 Jeep couldn’t make it over. Must have good clearance and good driving skills to make it to this trail head

This trail would be a 5 in Illinois, for instance, but in Colorado, there are much better options. Beautiful aspen groves and a few scenic overlooks, but too many campers. No wildlife. The northern leg of the route is a 4WD track and you will have to move over for trucks etc. Highly recommend the short loop at the northwest end of the trail, where you can find the longest beaver dam any of us had ever seen. Would have rated this as moderately trafficked, and definitely on the easy side of moderate.

A couple of marathons, numerous obstacle races, and raising 4 teenage girls. But nothing could prepare me for this beast. Only had 2 days to acclimate from sea level, and this mountain kicked our butts. It throws everything at you so it’s not at all boring. But prepare your mind for a test.

A beautiful 14er, but not the greatest trail. The first couple of miles through the trees is great, but be prepared for very steep, eroded, gravel-y trail after the ridge/buttress. A few other notes: limited parking at the trailhead and no restroom. It looks like there are some places to park, however, further down the 4WD road a quarter mile past the trailhead. It's certainly a beautiful, worthwhile trail, just know that you'll earn it!

Awesome hike! Did last August. Trailhead was a little tricky to find, but there is a sign for it. You spend a good 2-3 miles on the ridge, and being on top of the range, so don’t assume your on Elbert’s peak. You will know when you made it!

Great! Steep but after every corner new views! We made it until 12,000 feet in 3 hours. We needed 2 hours to go down. We love the variety in the landscape!

Wow! My 1st 14er! Diverse trail, rock stairway to the heavens, mountain goats and an incredible 360 degree view!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice easy trail to the really cool and historic Interlaken Resort!

Great camping along the road to the trailhead, both free dispersed and pay sites w bathrooms. You must have good clearance probably 4WD to get to the trailhead undamaged. A few Subarus were up there but I guarantee they bottomed out on a few spots. There is a gnarly drainage/culvert about 1/4 of a mile before the trailhead. Some butt was parked right before it when i was leaving and only left a crappy line down in my 3in lifted FJ that I still bottomed out.
Hike is awesome, pretty easy for a fourteener. Lots of rocks, hard on the feet, ankles and knees coming down. 2 or 3 false summits, be prepared. I went through 5L of water, applied sunscreen twice and definitely bring bug spray for the first part.
Lots of really cool views both of the Elk Range and of Leadville and the surrounding lakes and scenery. Spectacular views of the Halfmoon lakes and valley on your way up.

Great fun

camping
1 month ago

Spectacular place!! If you go up far enough, the views are amazing. Also found a small creek waterfall with a pool at the bottom for swimming. Water was chilly. Not necessarily a 4WD, SUV’s can handle it unless you guy up high. Definitely recommend going up Peek A Boo Gulch and taking a sunset drive.

We packed our kayaks and went to Twin Lakes one day. About 30 min drive from camp to lakes. Had a cocktail in town and headed back to camp.


Went Friday-Sunday (July 13-15) and it was busy. All campsites were full... maybe 1 or 2 ones open. That was the only downside. The sites are very spread out so it’s still very private.

Make sure you have a good level of fitness for this one.

Great Hike! Have to earn it right from the beginning by making the drive up to the trail head. Need AWD/
4 wheel drive and good clearance. The trail holds Beautiful views, Excellent trails and very few hikers.

Beautiful view at the top but definitely hard on the joints. LOTS of people at the peak!

This was a challenging but nice 14er. Not scary challenging, but just soul sucking challenging. The trail has a good mix of everything from forest hiking to rock scrambling. Do be warned that the hike is longer than ~8 miles listed. It’s closer to 10 something miles.

off road driving
1 month ago

Very nice, scenic area. Drove my stock Silverado and didn’t have any clearance issues. Nice and secluded, saw one other vehicle the 2 nights that I stayed. Went last week of July and it got really cold at night, like freeze your dogs water cold.

awesome hike with great scenery! I was hard on the knees coming down

Fantastic hike. Less crowded than the other trails!!!!

Hard to get to the trailhead, and you can't unless you have high clearance. There are places to turn off along the way tho that will just make your hike a bit longer.

As for the hike, it is really pretty through the forest and along the creek in the beginning. When you turn to go up Massive, it is very steep the entire rest of the way. Be sure to pace yourself.

The views at the top are beyond worth it. Just top-tier summit views. Awesome.

Don’t let the description fool you, this trail is closer to 12 miles round trip. Technical towards the top, steep up and steep down. Beautiful views the entire way. Hard work but worth it

This is a breathtaking view but is definitely the hardest route to summit Mount Elbert. After you get above freezing the trail lacks in traction and has 60%+ grades of steepness. If your only goal is to summit take one of the easier routes. Our boys and girls cross country team both attempted to climb it. The girls reached the false summit and the boys barely managed to summit however one of us had extreme elevation sickness on the way down. Also this trail was actually OVER 12 Miles in total distance-not 10 miles. One last thing to note is that this trail is mentally challenging as we found there were about 4 false summits. All I'm all this is a stunning trail that I highly recommend to experienced hikers.

So this is the SOUTHEASTERN Trail. Just before you get to Mt Elbert Lodge. I found the trek and the mileage to be very accurate. So as far as the hike goes, basically 3 parts. First part is a nice trail, semi steep but easily handled. You then come to a flat area that is very nice, you cross the stream twice and go through some Aspen groves. Then the third part, ouch. Steep and very difficult due to elevation. The worst part is that your approach the top all you see is a peak to the left, which you assume is Mr. Elbert. This would not be correct and when you summit the saddle, you will see that behind what you thought was Elbert is not, and low and behold there he is. About another 1.5 miles to the left of your summit of the saddle. Trail during the 3rd part of the hike was loose rock and very steep. Took more time and awareness coming down then going up. Sticks are huge for balance and watching for slips. Of course what do expect with a 5000 foot elevation gain in 5 miles. Good luck. No other dangers or hindrances to having a great hike. It does get winding and cool on top, even at noon. Once you leave the tree line, make sure gloves and head covering are the norm.

The views are nothing short of spectacular. This trail has it all; forest, rivers, meadows and summit views. But you have to earn this one! Start early, the decent takes almost as long as the summit climb. The boulder field is one for the books and is easy to lose your route and your hiking friend lol. Happened twice today. No snow issues but the winds were brutal.

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