Explore the most popular camping 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.

camping
1 day 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.

This is a great trail for a hard but not too technical climb of a 14er..long enough to make it difficult and some fun but not crazy scrambling and route finding to get up to the summit ridge. The parking can be a challenge due to the Mt Elbert trailhead close by so arrive before 6am to give yourself enough time. Also lots of varied terrain from the CO trail at start to the high meadow with wild flowers. Superb views from the top. There was a fair amount of traffic on the trail this Saturday but not at all overcrowded.

Great views and a lovely hike! From the parking lot it’s about 14.8 miles, and it took us about 7 hours. Definitely start early!

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

Epic hike and epic views 10/10!

off road driving
13 days 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

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.

Great hike..beautiful stroll through the aspens. This trail is actually just the lower part of the South Elbert trail. At the S Elbert parking lot take the lower trail. Follow the trail to the split of the S Elbert and Colorado trail sign, there will be a 4x4 road, take it to the right to loop back around. Be sure to visit the beaver ponds!

By the time we were back at the trailhead, gps said it was over 12 Miles. This hike is tough and has a bit of every type of terrain. If you have hiking poles they may be helpful but not necessary. You need to park on the main road and then walk on a dirt road to the trailhead. Views from the summit are beautiful!

We slept in the jeep at the 4wd parking area (high clearance needed) and started at 3 a.m. You start out in a beautiful aspen forest, then through a small meadow and soon reach treeline. The trail is very easy to follow, and is a pretty steady uphill. We were alone at the summit for about 45 minutes, and the views were possibly the best in Colorado. Took us about 3.5 hours to summit, 1.5 back to the trailhead. My 8 y/o shephard also hiked with us and had no problems.

Incredibly beautiful views. But man, you had to earn this one. I’ve done a couple 14ers (Massive and Holy Cross) and this was probably the toughest. Shorter than the prior two, but the footing and terrain was incredibly difficult. Steep inclines, super challenging and steep switch backs.. a boulder field that seems to never end.. its one thing to struggle up, but seemed harder making it down while keeping footing. Quads, body, and soul are crushed.

That said, the views are second to none. Amazing.

Super tough for our group of 10 ranging in ages 9-49. 2 made it to the very top (including the 49 year-old), 3 more of us made it to 13,500 (including the 9 year old). But everyone else had to turn around almost half way up because of the steep incline. Definitely did a lot of snow sliding on the way down. Very exhausting hike for us. Lots of water bottles was needed. Beautiful views and great pictures!

hiking
1 month ago

This one makes you earn it. Scenic hike thru the woods to start, and then you hit the "stairmaster"(you'll know when you hit it). Elevation gain gets real once you're out of the treeline. Snow causes a bit of improv when it comes to the trail from about 12,500 on. Cairns will help you from 13,000 on, but go with with what's comfortable, and keep winding up to the left. Head too far right and you'll go well out of your way. Lots of friendly "critters" at the top, and the views were some of the best! Started around 7am and reached the summit by 12:30. Took our time with all the wind, but blue skies. Got back to the car by 3pm. Getting down to about 12,000 can take some time. I recommend sliding while there's snow.

hard hike, but it is so worth it. super windy when we got out of the tree line and the trail isn't marked very well so you have to pay close attention.

The trail was great and the weather was perfect. Definitely need a high clearance 4WD to make it to the trailhead. My Subaru Legacy was not high enough. My wife and I were not in shape enough to summit and started a little too late (9ish). Didn’t need anything special as far as equipment goes. Trail was clearly marked and the views were amazing!

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.

My absolute favorite 14er hike that I've done so far. Beautiful alpine wilderness. Would do this again in a heartbeat.

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.

Would it be a mistake to drive a Nissan Altima the 1.8 miles to the Upper Trailhead?
I’ve watched videos and the road does not look too bad. On the other hand if I got stuck it would be
bad. On the bright side walking the 1.8 miles would be a good warm up. All comments appreciated.
Thank You.

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.

03/16: Drove from 800 ft elevation in mid west, stayed overnight in Leadville and started hike early morning from south Mount Elbert trailhead parking (paved road from Leadville). Usual south trail was closed for renovations and there was a new trail that shoots off of the colorado trail further north. Follow the posted directions on the Colorado trail. Just wore winter hiking boots for most part of the hike but there was about a mile stretch where I had use snowshoes. At the tree line left my snow shoes and used only hiking poles there on. The wind grew stronger as I climbed further and had to wear balaclava. The views at the summit are just amazing. It was definitely worthy.

3/12/18-- trail was covered in deep snow, if it weren't packed it would be really tough to find. But fantastic views and extremely challenging!

cross country skiing
4 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!

Lots of mountain goats

this trail is the old trail. it closed summer 2017. visit 14ers.com.for the new trail.

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