Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
219.00 m (718.50 ft)
Trail type
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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, a log shelter, and two pit toilets. The site once offered two shelters, but a forest fire took out the shelter on the smaller of the twin lakes. There is now a second pit toilet near where the small twin shelter used to be.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Bautiful old-growth forest. Clear lakes to swim in.


Moderate to heavy use during peak summer days.

Trailhead Elevation

4,839.24 ft (1,475.00 m)


Big vistas
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day




Just did the hike last weekend, had a wonderful time. Still a lot of bugs this time of year, but I'm told they'll die off in the next 2 weeks or so.

Just be aware: There are no longer 2 shelters - a forest fire took out the shelter on the smaller Twin lake. But there is now a second pit toilet, near where the small twin shelter used to be.
This hike has amazing views and the lakes are very beautiful. Just did the hike this weekend, the forest road to the trail head takes a long time as it is windy, gravel, and on the edge of a cliff for most of it, but it is worth it! You drive and hike through much of the burn areas from last summer, which is sad to see such destruction, but the forest is thriving and growing now! Great time to go as well, because it was just about empty of people (we saw 3 on the entire hike). Still patches of snow on the trail toward the top but manageable.
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