Twin Peaks is one of the most well known peaks in Ouray. Any major postcard picture of the town of Ouray was taken from the summit of Twin Peaks. From the top of Twin Peaks, there are great views all around and I loved hiking this small but powerful peak. These peaks are not that hard to reach and it is only 5.7 miles roundtrip from the trailhead with 1900 feet of elevation gain.
These directions are for the new Twin Peaks trail.
To access the trailhead, access seventh street in Ouray. Drive down here
to Oak Street, turn left onto Oak street and then soon turn right down Queen Street. Follow the road up to the Oak Creek Trailhead, which is also the Twin Peaks Trailhead. Head up on the Oak Creek Trail and after around a half mile, if you look carefully to the south, you can see Box Canyon Falls. After one mile, you come to the intersection with the Twin Peaks Trail. After this intersection, stay right and descend slightly down to Oak Creek. After crossing the creek, start climbing again and stay left after the intersection of the Old Twin Peaks Trail and the Silvershield trail.
After these intersections the trail starts to climb much more steeply. Follow it as it heads north and crosses over the old Speedwell mine and shaft. The trail soon switchbacks back to the south and deposits you on sister peak at 10,350 feet. Sister Peak is not a peak at all, just a little rise that has great views of Ouray. From Sister Peak, head up to the west to the summit of Twin Peaks. Take in the views of the entire area, and then descend the way you came up.
No permit is required to hike this trail.
There is no real need to camp on this trail as it is right outside of Ouray, as you can stay there. If you really want to camp stay at the Amphitheater Campground.
The trailhead directions are INCOMPLETE and therefore INACCURATE, because the first trail one would encounter by following this description would be WRONG.
After driving up Queen Road, proceed to take a left on Pinecrest Drive. After two switchbacks and approximately a half mile, look for a parking area and a sign for Oak Creek Trailhead.
Be aware that, before this (at the Pinecrest/Queen junction), the “Old” Twin Peaks trail (which is also labeled as Oak Creek) and a very small parking area exists.
THIS “OLD” TRAIL IS CURRENTLY CLOSED IN A HALF MILE, and one would not know to look for the “New” trail instead by the existing trailhead description.
Should one be tempted to continue hiking past the closure on the Old Twin Peaks Trail, one will encounter an eroded trail that has quite steep, dangerous/deadly drop-offs in places, which is already sketchy in dry weather. This old trail that essentially goes straight up a drainage is very much not recommended, and does not fit the description of a challenging but manageable hike described here and elsewhere.
BE SURE to use the NEW Twin Peaks trail and trailhead, which has ample parking, a more safe and managed trail, that is also more scenic than the old trail.