Add Heading HereDirections
From Highway 7 west of Phillips Reservoir between mile posts 28 and 29, go north on the well maintained, gravel Deer Creek Road. [Note: right at the intersection with Hwy. 7 is a road fork with road signs. Be sure to take the left fork.] Continue about 4 miles to the Deer Creek Campground sign, then straight ahead on Forest Road 030 for another approx. 4 miles to the end at the trailhead. [Note: There is another 4-way intersection about 1/2 mile from the end of Forest Road 030, with a sign saying "Twin Lakes Trail 1/2 mile," where the road is badly rutted on a steep incline that becomes marginal anything but high-clearance vehicles. While Forest Road 030 is rough, it is still OK for passenger cars to the trail sign. Beyond this one rough incline, the road is good to the trailhead.]
The trail follows an old road for awhile, then becomes a wide trail, then a normal trail through mixed conifer forest, eventually emerging into open meadows for the last third of the approx. 3 mile trail. We parked our passenger car at the lower trail sign, hiked the remaining 1/2 mile of road to the trailhead, and arrived at the lower Lake in three hours. There is an approximate 2300 foot elevation gain for this hike. In late July, 2013, the meadow wildflowers were near peak bloom, with abundant Indian Paintbrush, among others, not seen so abundantly in most other places. The lower Lake is not visible from the trail until you get near the far end of it, so be watching the terrain so you can divert from the trail to visit the south end. The trail continues to the smaller upper Lake. There is also a trail junction beside the lower lake used to climb up to the Elkhorn Crest Trail, which we did not take. While we were there, a herd of mountain goats came down from the upper Lake. They were not afraid of people, and if we did not move to startle them, would graze very close us.