Twin Sisters Peak

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Elevation: Twin Sisters Peak West - 11,413'
Twin Sisters Peak East - 11,428'
Trailhead/Trail: Twin Sister
Trailhead elevation: 9,160'
Total elevation gain: 2,268'
Coordinates: Twin Sisters Peak West - 40.2890°N, 105.5193°W
Twin Sisters Peak East - 40.2885°N, 105.5174°W
Round trip distance: 6.8 mile
Quadrangle: Longs Peak
Date: 6/1/2008

I was joined by mine friends, Rich and Kelly, up Twin Sisters. We decided to hike Twins Sisters to honor Rich's father, who had recently suffered a stroke, because it was one of his favorite hikes in RMNP. It was a beautiful day, with some wispy clouds over head, but otherwise very nice June day.

As the name implies, Twin Sisters is made up of two subpeaks - the higher eastern peak, and the western summit - that are separated by a small saddle. I had hiked up to the western of the Sisters a number of years before with my brother, but at that time the trailhead was to the west of the summit, along CO 7. Now however the trail starts just a little bit up a dirt road that takes off from CO 7 at the Lily Lake Visitor Center (which appears to be closed these days).

The trail up is relatively easy, even though the sign at the trailhead says it is an "arduous" hike, although I think this is to scare off the flatlander tourists who think it might be a nice, easy hike. For the first half of the hike the trail heads towards the north, making numerous switchbacks, through a fairly dense evergreen forest, with an occassional view off to the west of Mount Meeker and Longs Peak.

Along with views of Longs Peak, there are nice views of the Tahosa Valley. Eventually the new meets up to where the old trail use to come. And shortly afterwards there are view to the south of Twin Sisters northern flank.
As we hiked higher, we ran into a little bit of snow on the trail, yet we also found some wildflowers growing right on the trail.
And as we hiked even higher, the trees grew shorter, there was more snow and the views to the north opened up giving up nice views of the Mummy Range.
Just before we reached treeline, we ran into the most snow on the trail, but it was hard packed enough that we postholed only occassionally. And then at treeline, we got our first view of the summit.
Now the trail headed across the rocky northeastern side of Twin Sister. At the saddle between the two subpeaks there is a small building, made of rock and a communications tower. And the 180° views are spectaculor.
Panoramic views to the north from Twin Sisters eastern peak
To the south of Twin Sisters Peak is the 11,376 foot peak of Twin Sisters Mountain. And to the west are views of Estes Cone and the mountains of the Continental Divide, and Longs Peak
One last view of to the north before heading back. At was a nice easy hike, with some beautiful views of snow capped mountains and twisted, gnarly trees.
While atop the eastern summit, Rich and I thought about heading over to the summit of Twins Sisters Mountain, but after my hike up Buffalo Peak the day before I was a bit tired and sore, so I begged off this side trip and perhaps we will do it yet on another day.