Twining Peak, 4179m (13711 ft)

Mountain area: Sawatch Range, Colorado USA

Hiked: July 22, 2001

Maps: Nat'l Geographic #127 - Aspen/Independence Pass


  • Colorado's High Thirteeners by Mike Garratt/Bob Martin
  • Click for larger image

    Twining Peak seen from Unnamed 13736

    Access (Independence Pass):

    Please refer to the above books for more details and alternative routes

    Find your way to Independence Pass on Colorado 82, either from Aspen, or from Coloado 24 Leadville - Buena Vista. Park the car in the parking area at the top of the pass.

    The trail:

    On the north side of the highway, you see the lower Twining Peak ridge. You don't see the actual summit from the parking. Make your way over the boggy ground towards the west side of the ridge. As you reach the ridge, you see the Twining Peak summit. Head directly towards the summit (a small trail is visible here and there) on the west side (left) of the ridge. Make your way through the boulder area and in summer, you see a trail that connects to the ridge at the foothills of the mountain.

    Get up on the ridge and follow the steep eastern ridge all the way to the top. The summit consists of talus, and the ridge leading to the summit point is not among the widest. It offers no technical difficulties, but light scrambling is probably wise for feeling safe


    Of all the mountains in the Rockies, why did I chose this mountain? Well, I was moving from Denver to Buena Vista, and after checkin in Buena Vista, I had the afternoon free. Besides, I needed to maintain my increase in altitude adjustment. That said, this is a perfectly valid mountain to hike. You are not left with a feeling that it was an insignificant hike.

    I started from the Independence Pass trailhead 11:45AM, and after pushing it really hard, I reached the summit 12:45PM. My blood pump was running at high speed. Summit ridges like this are always interesting, if one doesn't know what the ridge is like. Well, I didn't know, but as said, it's narrow, but not dangerous.

    After enjoying the view for ten minutes, the west horizon was suddenly gone. And then light rain set in. Somewhat inexperienced with the Rockies, I expected a thunderstorm within minutes, so I - rather quickly, you might say - got myself off the mountain. Of course, back at the car, the weather turned back to nice.

    Wonderful view towards eastern and southern Sawatch mountains.

    Pictures: (move cursor to read notes, and click on the images to see full version)

    La Plata Peak seen from Twining Peak trailhead at Independence Pass (142KB) Twining Peak seen coming from Independece Pass (258KB) Arriving the Twining Peak ridge, looking back the trail up (199KB) The final steps to the summit of Twining Peak (208KB) Standing on the summit, looking back on the summit ridge (175KB) Unknown high mountain seen from Twining Peak (157KB) Snowmass seen from Twining Peak (194KB) La Plata Peak seen from Twining Peak (157KB) Connecting ridge leading back to Independence Pass (177KB) Independence Lake seen from Twining Peak (213KB) East view from Twining Peak (275KB) South view towards La Plata Peak and Colorado 82 (338KB)

    Other trail descriptions for this region: