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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Twin Sisters Peaks Trail- Estes Park, CO

Location: Twin Sisters Peaks Trail
Date: 9/3/2012
How far we went: 7.66mi
How long it took us: 4:59:12 (Up & Back plus trail head)
Elevation reached: Started at 8940ft and got up to 11,335ft
Weather: Cool, nice. Once above treeline windy and cold, pretty damn cold at peak.

So we arrived there about 9:15am and found it pretty easily. All you have to remember is two things: It is right across from Lily Lake, and that you CAN park up the hill instead of the parking lot directly across from lake. It is a dirt road, so as long as there isn't a ton of rain (or obviously snow) I would think most vehicles could handle the incline. Right below is a map of what I'm talking about. the points between the two arrows are the stretch you can park at. And trust me, you will want to save your time and effort driving this instead of hauling your people and gear up this path. 

The first third of the trail is shaded under trees with some nice views. It's a constant incline which has 10-12 switchbacks before you start to feel more sunshine coming through to the trail. After you have climbed some in elevation, the trees become less dense and you know after awhile that you're coming to the end of the tree line. After enjoying some views from the upper half, you'll eventually round some corners and see the final part of the hike. With the wind breezy and mind blowing views in almost every direction, you'll feel as if you are near the summit but actually you have at least a mile to go over nothing but rocks. When you reach the solar electrical station at the top, you're almost there, so don't quit at that point! Anyways, the weather turned in the last 20 minutes of the hike and mother nature gave us a scare. Being from NC, we weren't used to mountains that much but we learned first hand that things can get nasty quick! Sleet and ice started to come down after being flanked by dark clouds. Not prepared for this we knew we needed to take our pictures and leave. (Better safe than sorry) So we did exactly that, took pictures, are a quick lunch then left for our decent.

All in all totally worth it. It was free and the trail goes through Rocky Mountain National Park as well as land maintained by the US Forest Service. My only complaint was the amount of people. Given it was labor day I should have expected it. Enjoy the pictures!

We saw our twin sister Subaru while parking at Twin Sisters Peaks! 
Start of Trail, last thing you'll see before entering.

Headin' up the trail