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Twin Sisters

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.3 (48) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A fantastic and steep trail leading to the top of Twin Sisters Mountains.


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Map Key

7.4

Miles

11.9

KM

Out and Back

11,343' 3,457 m

High

8,961' 2,731 m

Low

2,387' 728 m

Up

2,385' 727 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Geological Significance · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

A challenging but rewarding out-and-back hike with beautiful views of foothills and surrounding peaks south of Estes Park.

Need to Know

All animals are prohibited on this trail. Due to erosion from the severe flooding rains in Summer of 2013, this is a natural restoration area. Stay on the marked trail at all times. The trail is extremely rocky for most of the distance, except in the months when the trail is snow-covered. I saw a few trail runners making great time in both directions, so the rocks must not have been an obstacle for them.

Arrive early in the morning for the best views, and parking. There are limited roadside (right side ONLY) spaces available near the trailhead. However, there are times when the roadside parking near the trailhead is closed, so only the parking lot is available. Overflow parking across from Lily Lake adds mileage to the hike.

Description

From the Twin Sisters / Lily Lake Trailhead, start hiking up the Twin Sisters Trail. This is a very popular trail/trailhead, especially in the summertime, so be ready for some crowds.

The trail begins its first series of switchbacks about a quarter of a mile from the trailhead. At this point the trail is mostly contained in a dense forest so the views of Longs Peak are fleeting.

After the first series of switchbacks, the trail levels out to a much more manageable grade and contours to the south along the mountain's western shoulder. There is a large wash just before the next series of switchbacks that offers unobstructed views of Longs and all points westward.

Gather your strength and hike through the seemingly never-ending switchback towards the summit. Eventually, you'll break out above tree line and the views will increase exponentially. Continue up the ridge to the Twin Sisters Peak Summit Spur and scramble to one of the two summits.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Smith with improvements by Mark Woods and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 48 votes

#1

in Estes Park

#212

Overall
  4.3 from 48 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
10%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Estes Park

#53

in Colorado

#212

Overall
417 Views Last Month
11,437 Since Jan 15, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

2%
0%
24%
20%
53%
0%

Photos

I rest and admire the views from the Twin Sisters.
Mar 22, 2017 near Estes Park, CO
My view, southwest in the very near distance from 11,420' on Twin Sisters. Mt Meeker, Longs Peak & Mt Lady Washington. 09/01/2019. 1 week later, I was, Yes! Over there, looking back at this same spot, 07:30 from Chasm Lake.
Sep 25, 2019 near Estes Park, CO
Twin Sisters Peaks west summit looking down the saddle, across to the east peak.
Oct 12, 2019 near Estes Park, CO
There are several breaks in the tree line up Twin Sisters Trail with astounding views of Longs Peak. This is 9700', looking 270 degrees SW.
Sep 22, 2019 near Estes Park, CO
Natural restoration in progress, 6 years after the landslide. Take care along this part of the trail, please do not step on even the smallest blade of grass.
Sep 22, 2019 near Estes Park, CO
14,120' elevation from the top of the western Twin Sisters Peak, looking east towards the other Twin. Wonder what they're taking pics of? Idea of scale from here, looking down the saddle up.
Sep 25, 2019 near Estes Park, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 34 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jul 16, 2021
Andy Markevicus
7.9mi — 3h 01m
Jul 8, 2021
Praveen P
very rocky at top 7.4mi — 4h 30m
May 8, 2021
Erica Chan
8mi — 6h 15m
May 1, 2021
Omar Albayati
Apr 10, 2021
Salahadin Mahamed
Apr 4, 2021
Chris R
With Alex, no kikation
Jan 30, 2021
R Lee
Nov 22, 2020
Melissa Elizondo
Hiked the Twin Sisters Trail on 11.21. Conditions were very windy at the summit but on the way there and back was fair chilly weather — 3h 25m