Explore the most popular 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.

views

hiking

dogs on leash

nature trips

walking

wild flowers

birding

forest

wildlife

camping

lake

Twin Lakes, Colorado Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Hiked 10/18 Gorgeous hike and the views are incredible! More difficult than we anticipated. Mileage is off, guessing closer to 12 miles. Sign for Black Cloud is tiny and faces the road, look right about 3/4 mile past Twin Peaks campground for a dirt road. Took us just over 5 1/2 hours to summit and coming down wasn’t quick as it’s really steep. Total RT was 9 hrs. Experienced cold, snow and high winds near summit - prepare for anything. Poles are helpful, spikes not needed. Lost the trail a few times but was easy to find again. Highly recommend if you take your time and start early.

amazing views and easy to get to. pretty difficult if you're not acclimated to the elevation, but worth it if you are or not.

Great hike. Not too strenuous but amazing vistas.

hiking
1 month ago

A nice simple and not too hard hike. Absolutly beautiful at the end of the colors. The fog was hanging on the peak of Mt Elbert. Love it. Will hike again.

Pretty easy hike for a 14er until you get to the saddle, then it gets a little technical. We went really slow with this one for a total of 10 hours. Started at 630 and was off the mountain still in plenty of time. If you get a nice weather day in the fall I would highly recommend, the Aspen trees were some of the most beautiful I've seen. Of the 12 14ers I have hiked, this was one is up there as far as a good hike and beautiful views. Enjoy!

My first 14er. It felt pretty moderate to me, no section of the trail felt hard. Beautiful views from the summit and good colors on the aspens down low. 9-30-18

camped nearby past Lakeview camping (it was closed). Plethora of camping spots and all along the road to Elbert upper trailhead. We took the lower trail up and looped back on the road. Saw a few deer! And went past the upper trailhead a little to see the beaver dam. My pup loved it and we enjoyed the leaves!

We started after Noon and decided to hike only up to the bridge over a beautiful, chatty stream where we also sat on the moss in the sun and ate our lunch. I’m very curious about the rest of the hike up to Mount Hope and I’m sure that it is beautiful, but we found many gorgeous photo opportunities in the first 2 miles up.

We only did about half of this trail due to time constraints. We actually went down to the water and walked along there for a bit before getting back on the trail. It is a very easy trail but was heavily trafficked even for a Tuesday. Beautiful views though!

off road driving
1 month ago

Fun, fairly easy off-road trail with nice views and excellent camping opportunities. The weather in late September got cold at night but the daytime sun made low 40's during the day feel like 60. This road branches off quite a lot further up. If you can swing it, highly recommend exploring further and making a long day out of it. For hiking, I bet this would be good too. Over the course of 48 hours, I saw two jeeps, a hunter, and a hiker. I think the hunter got something as I heard a shot echo way up the valley at dusk.

I live in Hawaii. The way to the top was not easy for my little sea level legs and because I have no tolerance to the cold, I was a bit chilly. The view from the top was worth every step. Aspens were all yellow and I saw a happy little rat thing that was dope. He looked so happy.

Best to hike when the aspens are in full color! Breathtaking!! Only downside is one half of the loop was fairly heavily traveled by 4WD vehicles.

We did this trail in early August with great weather. The trailhead is up the road about a half mile on the left and is easy to miss. There's a great variety of views a long the way, streams, valleys and a beautiful forest below the tree line. A lot of bouldering above the tree line, there's plenty of cairns but it's easy to lose the trail. Amazing but very difficult hike. It took us nearly as long to get down as it did to get up because of how steep it is. Poles highly recommended!

All the elevation gain is near the end of the hike and at times it feels like you’re following a goat trail. Great views and surprisingly secluded!

We really enjoyed this hike today! Quite a workout for us with the elevation gain but was worth it. We did have a 4wd vehicle so we were able to get almost all the way to the trailhead. If not it would take a lot of the enjoyment out. We only saw two other couples all day. One couple was on their way down from the summit of Massive. Yes there is a trail to the summit that breaks off about halfway up and has a sign. Saw a few mountain goats and deer and the scenery at the 1st Lake is enjoyable.

hiking
1 month ago

If you are going during leaf season, this is an excellent trail because it has great aspens all the way and there is a stunning little pond at the top. The guy who said it is a jeep road took the wrong trail. Yes there is a jeep road that leads there, too, but there is also a single track trail & you don't even see that there is a jeep trail that goes there too until you get to the top.

AMAZING AMAZING HIKE...but the miles are off for this trail. I agree with Doug Hess below, my Apple Watch showed 17.8 miles round trip for this hike! We were not expecting to go twice the number of miles for this hike but it was well worth it. The trail is hard to find (especially on the saddle) I’m guessing we meandered off and ended up off trail for better views of the lakes. I went with 2 other fit college students and we made our way out and back in around 7 hours with breaks and food.
Bring warm clothes, sunscreen and lots of food
It’s a long way up there. The switchbacks in the midsection are brutal on the way up and down I highly recommend poles and hiking shoes that don’t squish toes on the way down.
This hike is hard on the knees, and it’s exhausting. Worth the views!!

I stayed at Mt. Elbert Lodge and used Black Cloud Trail all the way to the summit. I also think the mileage reported is a little short of what the hike really is. We started at 4:45 AM and ended around 2:30 to 3:00 PM. Some of us were in shape, some from Colorado, and a few of us from Indiana. It was everyone's first 14er aside from one person. The first portion of the hike is pretty brutal, as we started off like we were in the smoky mountains and could just push. We slowed pretty quick. The views were fantastic the whole way. The false summits can wear you down mentally if you aren't prepared. I took 3 liters of water and plenty of high protein snacks. Force yourself to eat and drink if you're a flatlander. I'll never do it again just because there are so many other new peaks to experience, but I recommend this if you want a challenge and sense of accomplishment. Very few people on this trail, also. Lastly, Mt. Elbert Lodge is awesome, the Twin Lakes Inn for dinner was really good, and the city of Leadville was pretty cool. Can't wait to plan my next 14er in this wonderful state.

If you have a vehicle that will make it up the 4WD road, I’d 100% recommend this route! The trail is beautiful, with amazing views over Twin Lakes, and of course the summit views were also great. We even saw a wedding ceremony being performed at the top! There were some other hikers on the trail, but it didn’t look nearly as busy as the north route, which you could see at parts from this east ridge trail. Long but not technical at all, I would absolutely recommend hiking poles for the descent for people with bad knees like me, they were lifesavers. Took us about 6.5 hours RT. Hiked 7/21/18

hiking
2 months ago

First hike since my wife’s emergency hip replacement 75 days ago. A very easy and pleasant hike along the lake. Out and back there were a few slight undulations keeping it interesting.

Nice easy hike. Beautiful views -especially with the aspen beginning to change colors.

on Lily Pond

hiking
2 months ago

Started at the trailhead South Mt Elbert. The hike follows the CO Trail for a couple of miles. You come to an intersection of Mt Elbert and CO Trail. Cross the bridge and follow the sign Lily Ponds. It was beautiful at the ponds. A large beaver lodge in the middle and some geese too. Lots of fish rising when we were there. Nice morning hike, lunch at the pond. Trail starts out as sage then you follow a creek through aspen the rest of the way. I clocked 5 total miles.

Important: the trailhead is up the road a short distance, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 mi on the LEFT next to the green gate (right past it). There are small cairns but easy to miss- look for a sign that says “Attention...” This hike seemed much longer than 8-9 mi, I was with a group of 3 and we all had ~13 mi on our devices. There’s a large boulder field and good deal of scree, which makes the last 2-3 mi pretty grueling. There are also a couple of false summits, so watch for the trail continuing on. I’ve done Huron, Belford, Oxford, and Missouri and this one was the hardest for me. I call this one the beast- such a beautiful beast, though!

One of the best 14ers and trails that I’ve done. Beautiful start through the aspens - the leaves are just starting to change color. There’s a lot of hiking above tree line but you’re on the proper side of the ridge to avoid a lot of the wind until near the summit. A couple of false summits may trick you but the second is almost level with the final summit. A tiny bit of scrambling may be required but the views are well worth it.

3:30AM start on Saturday. Chilly with some frozen precipitation. Summit at 7:20. Warmed up a bit on the way down. No flashlight needed above treeline with a 2/3 moon overhead.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a good alternative to Mount Massive, which weather was bad for on Sunday. Seemed longer than 5.4 miles from the trailhead. Did enjoy the great views and scenery along the way, the trail can get a bit confusing when you enter the tree line on Northside of open field. Download the all trails map so you follow off line. no cell phone coverage avail. Also never found the second lake. Still very enjoyable!!!

One of the easier class 2s in the Collegiate Peaks, just like most there is a good amount of scree to hike on toward the summit. Made it fun to trail run down after summiting at 8:30Am Aug.31.18, outstanding views of the many surrounding lakes and tallest 14ers in CO. (Massive, Harvard, Elbert) this was my 46th 14er summit as well, thought I should add that as I’ve seen in the past comments it was the hardest one they’ve done..as far as class 2s go I would rank as Moderate. Basically no exposure, and no intense boulder fields just scree piles. Similar climb as compared to Mt. Massive, personally I think Harvard and Columbia are a little more difficult due to the length of the trip. Bring wind gear!

brutal but good

Ok, well start with the drive to trail head. You do need a 4wd or AWD. My Subaru Forester made it fine with the low gear XT. There are a few tough areas but if you have some experience it is fine . The trail is tough but worth it. I hiked without seeing anyone all day except on top where the other trailheads meet up at the top. Going up took 4 hrs. 3.5 hrs to what looks like the top.... sorry there are 5+ false summits . Keep going another 30 min and you’ll reach the summit . Going down is no fun and took about 2.5 hrs; however I had poles . Without poles add another hour and some bandaids for the falls !!!
Beautiful , not well travelled trail but remember it’s almost 4000 vertical feet in a short distance !!!
Have fun!!!!

Load More