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Rocky Mountain National Park: Twin Sisters

Climb 2,400 feet to twin peaks on Rocky Mountain National Park’s east side. Aspen-shaded trails and unobstructed views of Longs Peak are just two rewards of this 7.2-mile out-and-back.

Rating

From the Twin Sisters Trailhead begin hiking south along a well-maintained access road. At the circular turnout near mile 0.3, veer left onto the Twin Sisters Trail and immediately begin a gradual ascent through thick spruce and pine. Unobstructed views of Longs Peak unzip at the base of several switchbacks beginning 1.5 miles from the trailhead.

Continue ascending and pay no heed to the false summits looming above. Roughly 2.5 miles into the hike, the trail breaks treeline, and 180-degree views open to the north. Peer 2,000 feet down to Estes Park and the Stanley, an historic (and haunted) hotel.

As you continue climbing, look for a tall radio tower marking the saddle between the east and western summits. From the saddle, access either peak with a quick class 2 scramble to the top. Have a picnic lunch admiring the views before turning back on the same trail.

INFO For information on permits, current trail and camp conditions, and wilderness guidelines, go to nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm

PERMIT A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the backcountry. Reservations accepted ($20 administrative fee for permits during peak season). nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/backcntry_guide.htm

CONTACT Rocky Mountain National Park, (970) 586-1206; nps.gov/romo

-Mapped by Tim Shisler

To Trailhead

Approaching Estes Park from the east on US-36, turn left onto CO-7 about 0.5 miles after crossing the lake. Drive 6.4 miles to the Twin Sisters Trailhead on the left.

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