From the trailhead, the path climbs steeply for a few hundred yards past blooming twinflower, wild ginger, and trilliums that plaster the forest floor. After 0.9 mile, the trail crosses an area covered with silt and mud deposited from a slide, then veers to the right and traverses a broad, flat area. As you hike, listen to the sounds of the Napeequa River (you may spot the signs of resident beavers on nearby cottonwoods).
Soon afterwards, the trail skirts a huge pond rimmed by willows that are home to dozens of species of songbirds. At mile 1.5, the route crosses Twin Lakes Creek, an easy water crossing in late summer. (Caution: In spring and early summer, the creek swells due to runoff. If you aren’t able to find a downed tree to walk across, it’s best to wait until later in the season to continue on to the lakes.)
From this point, the trail rounds to the southeast and enters a stunning, deep gorge along Twin Lakes Creek—you’ll have to navigate overgrown trail as you approach the lake basin. Lower Twin Lake appears after 2.5 miles. As you hug the water’s edge, several open rocky areas offer great views of the lake, the nesting common mergansers, and the backside of Dirtyface Peak. Continue past the lower lake to the outlet of Upper Twin Lake. Reeds (covered with dragonflies) flourish at this end of the lake and mile-long views extend to the southeast. Follow the same route back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Alan Bauer, Alan Bauer Photography