Groomed trail
Elevation Gain
400.00 ft (121.92 m)
8.30 mi (13.36 km)
Warming hut
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.

From the Barlow Pass Sno-Park, the Twin Lakes Loop offers a challenging but rewarding backcountry experience. Skis and snowshoes are both common on the ungroomed and unmaintained trail. The lakes can also be accessed from a shorter trail that begins at the Frog Lake Sno-Park. Despite the high use, the trail feels very isolated and offers sustained periods of solitude in deep woods. Many downhill sections are fun descents on skis, but be aware of any two-way traffic on the narrow trail.  

The trail begins at the northeast corner of the Barlow Pass Sno-Park parking area. The route follows the Pacific Crest Trail along a ridge for approximately two miles before dropping into the Twin Lakes basin. Upper Twin Lake provides a great lunch spot and a potential turn-around point if a shorter trip is desired. The trail follows along the shores of Upper Twin Lake before a steep, 200-foot drop down to Lower Twin Lake; look for a side trail that leads to the lakeshore. From here, the route ascends back up to the ridge, reconnects with the PCT, completes the loop to the Twin Lakes Junction, and returns to the parking area.

Note: From the parking lot, head southwest to ski or snowshoe down to Beaver Marsh.

Recommended Gear

Before you head out on your next Mount Hood adventure, make sure you have the right gear! 

Here's a list of our go-to snowshoeing essentials to get you started:

Snowshoes: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe

Men's and Women's • $229.95 • Cushioned, Made in USA, Ultralight, 98.8 oz

Jacket/Shell: Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket

Men's and Women's • $475.00 • Waterproof, Adjustable Drawcord Hem, Pit Zips, GORE-TEX

Pack: Mammut Nirvana Pro Pack 

$189.95 • 35L, Carry-On Size, Hip Belt, Ice Axe / Pole Loops, Hydration Compatible

Insulating Layer: Moosejaw Dequindre Down Jacket

Men's and Women's • $134.25 • Water-resistant, Insulated, Adjustable Drawcord Hem

Poles: Black Diamond Traverse Pole 

$79.95 • Aluminum, Adjustable with Lever Lock System, 21 oz.

Gloves: The North Face GORE-TEX Gloves

Men's Powdercloud • $181.61 • Waterproof, Adjustable, Insulated, GORE-TEX

Boots: Vasque Snowblime UltraDry Boot

Men's and Women's • $149.95 • Waterproof, Cushioned, Insulated

Gaiters: Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiter 

Men's and Women's • $64.95 • Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Abrasion-resistant


If you are snowshoeing into avalanche terrain, you should be prepared, equipped and educated on how to use avalanche rescue and snow safety gear - including but not limited to an avalanche beacon/transceiver, probe, and shovel.

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

Sno-Park Parking Permit (required in OR + WA 11.01 thru 04.30)


Variety of terrain. Open views from the lakes.


Steep switchbacks for cross-country skis. Peak winter use.

Trailhead Elevation

4,180.00 ft (1,274.06 m)



Trail type


Typically multi-day



Nearby Adventures

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon


actually did from the frog lake side and took the longer route.
We did this hike while camping at Frog Lake, as you can also access from Frog Lake Sno-park. It's 1.5 miles to the split, and then .5 mi to Lower Twin Lake where we stopped. It was a really nice day, and there were a lot of fallen logs to sit and relax on by the peaceful lake in the sunshine before heading back. I did this two winters ago in snowshoes and it was really neat to see it again all thawed out.
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