Twin Sisters Peaks (both of them), 07/26/2008

North Twin Sister from South Twin Sister summit, 07/26/08

North Twin Sister from South Twin Sister summit, 07/26/08

You can see the GPS tracks for this entire hike. There are some gaps, due to the GPS not tracking.

Since the Longs Peak forecast for today was 50% storms, we decided to do a quick and dirty hike up Twin Sisters, before the lightning got serious.

Twin Sisters Peaks, near Estes Park across the Peak to Peak Highway from Longs Peak, is a popular hike. From early morning to late afternoon, there are is always someone making their way up the trail toward the summit. Two interesting points about Twin Sisters Peaks is:

  1. The trail ends near the north summit, but hardly no one reaches its top. Instead they ascend a false summit to the west of the transmitter shack.
  2. Fewer people still, make their way to the south summit.

Parking off the road that leads from behind the Lilly Lake Visitor to the trailhead, we started hiking at 8:15. We reached the north summit at 9:51, where the odometer showed 3.68 miles. The elevation gain from the trailhead to this summit is 2406 feet, and the time was 1 hr, 36 minutes.

After signing the register, we left the north summit at 10:00. We descended the north summit on its east side then headed south to the saddle between the two sisters. The area around the saddle is a mix of alpine meadow with stunted limber pine.

We ascended the south summit from its west side, over a jumble of boulders, and counterclockwise around the base of the summit rock. We reached the south summit at 10:34, with the odometer showing 4.74 miles. The USGS marker on the South Sister says 11,384 feet, while the GPS shows 11,402 with an accuracy of 12 feet. From this summit, the view of Mt Meeker and Longs Pk is spectacular. There is also a great view of the North Sister.

Leaving the south summit at 10:48, we headed for the saddle, then regained the north summit at 11:24.

We soon began our return the way we came, and stopped for lunch in an alpine meadow teeming with marmots, before getting back to our parking place at 13:28.

The total elevation gain for this hike, counting the 3 summit ascents, was 3,174 feet. The total trip time was 5 hrs, 13 minutes.

- Richard Hollos and Stefan Hollos

GPS data
Place nameElev [ft]Accuracy [ft]Lat/Lon
Parking off road below Twin Sisters TH90601340.30421,-105.53786
North Twin Sister summit11466840.28855,-105.51744
South Twin Sister summit114021240.28243,-105.51466
Saddle between Sisters110501740.28501,-105.51547