Elevation Gain
2,500.00 ft (762.00 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
7.20 mi (11.59 km)
Warming hut
No
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Twin Sisters, straddling the border of Rocky Mountain National Park and Roosevelt National Forest, offers a roughly 3-mile hike to stunning vistas overlooking Longs Peak and the landslide areas affected by the 2013 flood. When the snows come—typically in late winter—the trail to the summit is a great opportunity for those looking for a short and manageable snowshoe.

In winter, the most important thing to remember is that you are essentially following the trail cut by the previous hikers. The summer trail has a lot of switchbacks, which are difficult to find in the deep snow. Those who break trail may not adhere to the maintained trail, so keep in mind that where you'd like to go and how you'd like to get there may vary from established routes. The trail to Twin Sisters in particular tends to shorten in the winter because snowshoers bypass switchbacks to head straight uphill. Likewise, the trail becomes more dangerous and steep. Fortunately, there are no other destinations that use this trail head, so there are almost no chances of getting lost.

The trailhead starts at the Lily Lake visitor center, which is no longer operating. There is a short 0.4-mile road walk before hitting the actual trail. This road is perfect for snow sledding, and many come here just for that. From the trailhead, once past the landslide area and before hitting the tree line, the trail gets steeper and difficult to negotiate if there is deep snow. The sections above the treeline involve traverses along steep slopes, and it is advised to proceed only with the right traction device based on snow conditions. The west peak, which is closer to the radio tower and the rescue hut, is to the right of the saddle and has the better views of the Rocky Mountains. The views are spectacular.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Less crowded. Fantastic views.

Cons

None.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

8,950.00 ft (2,727.96 m)

Highest point

11,430.00 ft (3,483.86 m)

Net Elevation Gain

2,500.00 ft (762.00 m)

Features

Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Groomed trail

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

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