North & South Twin 10-8-11
A little more on time than my last TR.
North Twin & South Twin
North Twin Trail - North Twin Spur - Back In Reverse
Distance: 10.4 mi.
Elevation Gain: 3,371 ft. (overall) 3,690 ft. (total)
Time: 3:05 (North Twin) 3:45 (South Twin) 6:19 (total)
The trail starts off nice and easy and quite smooth. It is an easy strole to get warmed up on. Almost immediately you come to a small foot bridge over a small brook. After that the trail slowly gains elevation without getting hard at all. Before long you are at the first of the three river crossings.
First River Crossing
I decided to use the bushwhack up the side of the river instead of doing the first two river crossings. The rocks were a bit slippery looking with the morning dew and I decided I didn't want wet feet for the whole hike and would try them on the way down. The bushwhack isn't so much a bushwhack as a lesser used trail. It is easy to follow and not overly hard. In high water conditions it does look as if some sections might get underwater or at least be very wet.
View up the mountain along the bushwhack
When you get back to the main trail it is pretty obvious and also marked with a very small cairn. From here you continue up the trail to the third river crossing with out much hard work and only a little elevation gain. At the third river crossing there is a downed tree you can use to cross. Thanks to the high waters earlier this summer, there was a dead tree just above this that also made a decent place to cross with some rocks that I used as well as the group that caught up to me. Thanks to the woman that let me use one of her poles briefly for added stability. I know see a use for poles in the summer.
Trees at the last brook crossing
After the last brook crossing the trail now starts to head uphill steadily. It crosses many small brooks that are nothing to worry about as it works it way away from the main river. As the trail heads West you keep gaining while going over many small rocks in the trail and this time of year plenty of fallen leaves. I didn't even hardly notice these on the way up, but on the way down they can be a bit slippery when not paying attention. After a while the trail turns some to your right and soon starts heading up its steepest portion. There are more large rocks in the trail here that you have to climb up and over.
Heading up the trail
Soon you will notice the trees are getting shorter and you can see out of them a little bit. After a bit further you come out to the nice viewpoint a little before the summit of North Twin. There are some great views to the East here. This was the first chance I had to see how hazy it was on this abnormally warm day for October. From here to the summit is quite easy and the trail is trimmed out pretty open. Soon you get to the junction where the trail turns from the North Twin Trail to the North Twin Spur. There is a short path to a viewpoint that has great views to the West and heads over a slightly higher spot on the mountain than the intersection.
Viewpoint below the summit
From the viewpoint near the summit
Now you head down into the saddle between the mountains. The trail is pretty easy but drops down over and around some large rocks. You aren't in the saddle long before you start to head back uphill and onto South Twin. The trail here is a little rocky, but not too bad. I am not sure why they did it today, but about 150 feet from the end of this trail, my legs cramped up pretty bad making it hard to get up to the summit. I immediately sat down and start massaging them until they felt better. With the trail not being all that hard, I am guessing I just had bad luck with that today. The views from South Twin are great as you can see in all directions.
Trail heading up South Twin
View over the summit
After enjoying the view, I headed back the way I came. On the way down I did all three river crossings without any problems. I knew on the way down if my feet got wet it wouldn't be a problem as I had a full change of clothes in the truck. I did use a stick for some extra stability, but it probably wasn't fully needed now that most of the rocks were dry. The trail between the two lower crossings was quite nice and I am glad that I took it on the way down.
Heading back up North Twin Mtn
Trail between the lower two river crossings
All in all the hike was great and it was nice having an October day around 80 degrees and sunny at the base. This made it so it was atleast in the 50's on the summits. There was some breeze, but nothing too cold. Another great day to be out in the mountains.
For all the pictures from the hike, just go HERE