Twin Lakes, Colorado, USA

Also known as:  Twin Lakes Reservoir

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Twin Lakes — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Twin Lakes cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Twin Lakes

In the mid 1800’s gold was discovered in Lake County Colorado, and everything changed. Settlers moved west seeking their fortunes and discovered not only gold but also the treasure of Twin Lakes.

Made up of two natural glacial lakes, Twin Lakes are tucked at the base of Mt. Elbert in South Central Colorado. Located in the San Isabel National Forest, the mountain is named for Samuel Hitt Elbert, a Colorado statesman. At 14,433 feet, Mt. Elbert is Colorado’s highest mountain and the second highest peak in the contiguous United States.

Although the lakes are natural, the Twin Lakes Dam was constructed in 1978 about 2,500 feet downstream from the original location of Twin Lakes, making the lakes part of a project to store water in the Pueblo Reservoir. Water is moved from Turquoise Lake to Mt. Elbert’s power plant and then on to Twin Lakes. From there the water goes to Lake Creek and the Arkansas River and on to the Pueblo Reservoir. The Mt. Elbert power plant is on the north shore of Twin Lakes. The plant is equal to a 14-story building most of which is below ground, and includes a visitor center that’s open in the summer to explain the project.

Recreation on and around Twin Lakes is managed by the U.S. Forest Service with camping, hiking, climbing (including ice climbing), and snowmobiling. Located in the San Isabel National Forest, the Forest Service offers a boat ramp and four campgrounds: Dexter Point, Lakeview, Twin Peaks, and Parry Peak. The lakes are only 34 miles from Aspen and about an hour from Copper Mountain and Breckenridge, names familiar to skiers. Twin Lakes offer great boating and fishing for Mackinaw, rainbow, and brown trout. Ice fishing is popular in winter.

Two miles west of the lakes is Twin Lakes Village, a National Historic Site. Settled in 1879, it was part of the area’s prospecting boom that started with gold and then moved to silver and lead. The Denver and Rio Grand Railroad arrived at Twin Lake Station, and it became a mining transportation hub for Leadville and Aspen. Mining ended, but by that time tourism was thriving. In 1885, a resort community named Interlaken was built on the southern shore of the lower lake. Today, Interlaken is preserved by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation and includes a nautical style cabin from the 1890’s, the hotel, two granaries, a stable, laundry, privy, and cow barn. Visitors can find Interlaken by following the Colorado Trail. Nearby Leadville, a historic mining town complete with an old west saloon, is a National Historic Landmark District and a great place to visit.

Rich history, majestic mountain peaks, and clean glacial water combine to make Twin Lakes a fantastic mountain getaway.

Things to Do at Twin Lakes

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Ice Climbing
  • Snowmobiling
  • National Forest

Fish Species Found at Twin Lakes

  • Brown Trout
  • Trout
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Find Places to Stay at Twin Lakes

If you’re considering a Twin Lakes lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Twin Lakes Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Twin Lakes lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Twin Lakes Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Surface Area: 2,440 acres

Shoreline Length: 14 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 9,181 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 9,157 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 9,200 feet

Average Depth: 44 feet

Water Volume: 107,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1978

Drainage Area: 105 sq. miles

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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