The 3-mile hike into Twin Lakes begins with 1,000-year-old trees lining the trail on both sides. These old-growth stands are mainly Douglas firs, but other conifers are present as well. After a steady climb the trail opens up to a viewpoint that allows visitors to see for miles. This overlook offers incredible views of the surrounding areas, but also the many clear cut projects that have occurred in the area. The striking difference between natural, healthy forests and the practices taking place on industrial and private lands could not be more glaring.
After hiking through more old-growth, the trail begins to open up to meadows covered in wildflowers that are teeming with butterflies. These flowers may be less dramatic depending on the time of year, but their presence will still be noted regardless.
There are two options for the trail, depending on the kind of hike you are seeking. The first option is to hike down to the lakes and enjoy a day of swimming and relaxing in a piece of paradise. The lakes are a stunning blue, and there are a few nice primitive campsites, two log shelters, and even a pit toilet. The second option is more challenging and rewarding, requiring a small hike up to another spectacular view point. Once at the top you will be able to look down upon both lakes and have another incredible view of the peaks in the surrounding areas. The two lakes are stunning. They are small, clear, and a striking blue-green color. The pristine mountain forests and dramatic rocky cliffs that frame these two beauties are simply gorgeous. You can easily do both options in the same day: Heading up to the vista point then returning down to the lake for lunch and a swim is highly recommended.