10 Reasons to Visit Twin LakesMay 25, 2020
If you haven’t been to Twin Lakes, Colorado, add it to your bucket list. These large glacial lakes lie at the foot of Colorado’s highest peaks and offer a wealth of recreation. In addition, the mountain hamlet of Twin Lakes offers intriguing history, delicious food, and charming places to lay your weary head.
Whether your taste for adventure is wild or mild, you’ll love these 10 fun things to do in Twin Lakes:
1. Take a Family-Friendly Float to Interlaken Ghost Resort. Take a two-hour boat trip with Twin Lakes Interlaken Boat Tours, and you’ll float all the way from Twin Lakes village to another century. Your destination? The historic buildings of Interlaken, a popular resort in the late 1800s, which can be reached only by boat or on foot. Go inside restored Dexter Cabin and climb into its cupola for a 360-degree view of Twin Lakes, 14er Mt. Elbert, and the surrounding peaks and forests. Boat tours start June 17, 2020.
2. Bike an Iconic Trail. Ride the shores of Twin Lakes on your mountain bike for a roll past sagebrush, aspen groves, wide-open waters, and high peaks. The Colorado Trail and Continental Divide trails run together through much of this scenic stretch.
3. Paddle or Boat. Laze the day away in a canoe or kayak or on a standup paddleboard (SUP) in the middle of these glimmering blue lakes. Or drop a fishing line, and get ready to catch a big one!
4. Explore the Historic Village. Pick up a walking tour map of the historic district at the Twin Lakes Visitor Center. Imagine what life once was like in this remote mountain village as you find the stagecoach stop and blacksmith shop, the dance hall, the ice house that cooled ice blocks cut from the lakes, and the Twin Lakes Schoolhouse, which was built in 1895 and served as a school through 1959. And explore the modern-day art gallery and general store.
5. Drive the Scenic Byway. For a great day trip, head to Aspen, about an hour away over scenic Independence Pass. The Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway winds you up to 12,095’, for views galore.
6. Climb Mt. Elbert. Mt. Elbert, Colorado’s highest peak, rises behind Twin Lakes. Start the climb to 14,433′ on the East Ridge route through aspen groves, looking down on the shimmering lakes. Start early, as afternoon thunderstorms are common, and bring layers, a lunch, and plenty of water with which to enjoy the views from the rooftop of Colorado.
7. Climb Hope Pass. The views from atop this 12,600′ pass are stunning. Think soaring 14ers in the Sawatch Range, Twin Lakes from on high, and the picturesque Arkansas River Valley. On the way up this nine-mile round-trip hike, consider what it’s like to do the Leadville Trail 100 Run, happening this year on Aug. 12. These racers cross Hope Pass twice within 30 hours, on their way out and back from Leadville.
8. Get Good Eats. Hungry after all that exploring? Come for a tasty sit-down dinner at the Dayton Room at the Twin Lakes Inn 4:30 to 8 p.m. nightly (reservations highly recommended, to accommodate social distancing requirements). Or come for lunch Friday through Sunday starting at noon. For a midday nosh, don’t miss the goodies at Punky’s Food Truck in the heart of Twin Lakes village, Thursdays to Mondays.
9. Camp under the Stars. Check into one of the many campgrounds near Twin Lakes or find a dispersed camping site for a good night’s sleep in the quiet woods. Journey down to the water’s edge to hear waves lap the lakeshore or to watch Rocky Mountain sunrises and sunsets.
10. Cozy up in a Historic Cabin or Lodge. Not into roughing it? Twin Lakes has just what you need for a relaxing escape, with a variety of well-outfitted cabins and lodges (see Related Lodging).
No matter what you choose, you’re sure to have a grand adventure at Twin Lakes!