Mountain Hiking

by Harold Sears

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Why Hike?

In and Around
Boulder, Colorado

Front Range and East

Central Foothills

Back Range and
Indian Peaks

Rocky Mt. Natl. Park

Rocky Mt. Natl. Park

Farther Afield

Back East
In the Carolinas

Happy Highways

Twin Sisters Peaks, RMNP

The Twin Sisters sit in a little section of Rocky Mountain National Park set quite by itself across the valley from the Longs Peak area of the park. The mountain slope is steep, but the trail is open and well graded, with many switchbacks to ease you steadily upward.

We start in open pine forest with a strong and sharp oder of fir. Among the trees are a tumble of rocks and boulders. About halfway up, a grove of aspen were just coming into new and bright yellow leaf.

At an altitude of 10,900 ft., I encountered small snow banks and rivulets of meltwater running down the trail. It was June 18.

The trees became more and more compact, a sure sign of altitudinal progress, and then there were only rocks with lichens on the surface and wildflowers tucked into sheltered spaces. One hiker coming down assured me that I only had five or ten minutes to go. Another (from Iowa) confided that this was the first time he had ever had lunch on the side of a mountain. "This is awesome!"

In a bit of a saddle between a lesser high point and Twin Sister East, there is a stone radio hut, solar panels, and a tower. On top, there is a wonderful view of Mt. Meeker, Longs Peak, and Mt. Lady Washington, across in the main part of the Park.

I caught the movement of a shadow over one shoulder and turned to watch a raven soar quietly by. On the high peaks, the raven is reliable company. He's not intrusive, but he stops by with a comforting greeting—how are you doing and have a nice afternoon.

Twin Sisters East and West

The two Twin Sisters peaks, the closer one 11,428 ft. and the farther 11,413.

On top of Twin Sisters East

On top of Twin Sisters East

Longs Peak

A view to the west of Mt. Meeker and Longs Peak.

 Trail Map

Getting There

From Boulder, drive north on 36 to Lyons and then west and north on 7. Pass mile marker 7, drive 0.7 mi. farther. There is a sign for the trailhead on the right. Turn right onto a dirt road, drive 0.4 mi. farther, and park on the right side of the road.

Click on the above thumbnail for a photo of the trail map that is posted at the trailhead, or visit Rocky Mt. Natl. Park (link on home page).

Cautionary Note -- If any of the hikes described on this site sound like something you would like to do yourself, please use good judgment and prepare yourself according to your skills, your interests, and the season. What was fun for me under one set of circumstances might not be fun or even safe for another under other circumstances. Do not consider these descriptions to be unqualified recommendations.

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Harold and Meredith Sears, Boulder, CO, All rights reserved.

This page was last modified on 2/18/10