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Outdoor Activities in the Twin Lakes Area

The Twin Lakes region of Colorado is a sought after vacation destination, where visitors can escape the hum drum of everyday life and step into the wilderness for rest, relaxation and outdoor activities. There are great Rocky Mountain retreats to help you unwind and enjoy the fresh air, and where you can take life at a leisurely pace, as Black Wolf Lodging notes, ‘we all long for the peace and quiet that is uniquely Twin Lakes’. There are a variety of hikes, cycling trails and boating opportunities in the area, just waiting to be explored.


La Plata Peak hike is just to the west of Twin Lakes Village and features a parking area on Highway 82, with a trailhead of 13.5 miles. This peak is Colorado’s fifth highest and it’s a popular mountain for hiking and climbing. For mountaineers who want quite a challenge, the Ellingwood Ridge is situated on the northeast flank and, as Colorado Mountaineering notes, it is a ‘long, exciting class 3 route with class 5 potential’ on the crest of the ridge.

Mount Elbert stands at 14,433 feet high and is the highest peak in the area. One trailhead can be found near to the Halfmoon Campground, from Colorado route 300 and County Road 11. This has an advanced difficulty rating, so it’s advisable for seasoned hikers and as Summit County Explorer notes, you should 'plan on at LEAST a four hour trek to the top’. The south trailhead is an easier clmb and starts from above Twin Lakes off County Road 24. The views from Mount Elbert and panoramic and glorious, with the town of Leadville in the distance far below, as well as the forests you have emerged from during your climb.

Cycling around Twin Lakes

There are cycle trails around Twin Lakes, which can be intermediate in ride difficulty. Cyclists enjoy good access to the lakes through the routes available, with some single tracks that, Cyber West notes, ‘offer a thrill or two close to the water’s edge’. The lakes themselves are picturesque and quiet, offering cyclists some fantastic views of the mountains surrounding them. The trail here eventually leaves the lakes and winds through forests and marshes and finally crosses streams and challenges bikers on an exciting adventure that is simply best experienced in the fall, as there are mosquitoes to combat in the summer months.

The Colorado Trail runs for 21 miles close to Twin Lakes, between Halfmoon Creek and Clear Creek Road and is an ideal mountain bike trail for cyclists, best experienced between June and November. Again, there are beautiful panoramic scenes to stop and absorb along the way, with Mount Elbert close by.

Whichever trail you decide to explore, it’s worth making sure your bicycle is in top condition before you set out on intermediate routes along mountain passes and through these streams. In nearby Leadville you will find bicycle rental and repair stores as well as information about marathons and festivals for you and your cycle. As Quote Zone notes ‘bicycles can be expensive, particularly competitive or road racing bikes’ so riders are advised to insure their cycles before they set out on treks through Colorado. There are many guides to biking in Colorado, and details of trails such as the Rainbow Trail and Continental Divide Trail are available at Fourteenernet Colorado Street and Mountain Biking Directory, making these activities accessible and enjoyable for visitors to Twin Lakes. There are trails to suit everyone, from families wanting a fun afternoon out together to seasoned mountain bikers looking for a real challenge in the great outdoors.

Boating on Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes span across 1,700 acres and were originally enlarged to allow for greater water storage for the nearby towns. The lakes make ideal boating destinations, as well as water skiing. As Wildernet notes ‘the Twin Lakes area offers spectacular mountain scenery’ and boaters enjoy pottering around on the waters here, with such impressive backdrops of scenery, and fishing also remains a popular activity in the area. Boat tours, canoe and kayak rentals are available in Twin Lakes (or in Buena Vista), which is considered to be one of the world’s most stunning locations, for its scenery and pristine, glacial landscapes.

Whatever you are looking for in your vacation,

Twin Lakes offers an escape from reality and the opportunity to embrace nature first hand,

in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Article contributed by Susie Connor