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
At an altitude of 10,900 ft., I encountered small snow banks and rivulets of meltwater running down the trail. It was June 18.
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.
The two Twin Sisters peaks, the closer one 11,428 ft. and the farther 11,413.
A view to the west of Mt. Meeker and Longs Peak.