Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 39.11230°N / 120.2319°W
Additional Information County: Placer
Activities Activities: Hiking, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 8878 ft / 2706 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Twin Peaks is located on the border of the Granite Chief Wilderness on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, just south of Alpine Meadows ski area. Its close proximity to Highway 89 allows for year-round access. The peak provides fantastic views of the Desolation Wilderness, Lake Tahoe, and the Granite Chief Wilderness. The great views from the summit can be had for minimal time and effort. The east summit is the high point.

During the summer, the summit can be reached via class 1 terrain from Blackwood Canyon Road or Alpine Meadows ski area. Because Blackwood Canyon road is not plowed and most ski areas do not take kindly to trespassing, winter ascents must begin at the Blackwood Canyon Sno-Park on Highway 89.

The peak can easily be climbed in summer or winter in a day. Summer back country camping opportunities in the area are limited, but it would serve as a good introduction to snow camping.

Twin Peaks is on the TAHOE OGUL PEAK LIST.

Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks East Summit

Getting There

Trailhead Route Difficulty Elevation Gain One Way Distance
Alpine Meadows Trail Class 1 2280ft 4.6 miles
Barker Pass Trail Class 1 2250 ft 5.5 miles
Blackwood Canyon Sno-Park Cross Country Class 1 2590 ft 5.4 miles
Ward Creek Trail Class 1 2500 ft 6.2 miles

ALPINE MEADOWS (39.146° N, 120.222° W): Located on the south side of Gstaad Road, approximately 6.9 miles west of Highway 89. Follow the trail south for 3.8. miles until on top of the ridge connecting Twin Peaks and Stanford Rock. The summit is 0.8 miles west and 800 vertical feet from here.

BARKER PASS (39.072° N, 120.231° W): Located on the north side of Barker Pass Road, approximately 7.1 miles west of Highway 89. Follow the trail north for 4.2 miles until the summit comes into view. The summit is 0.3 miles east and 400 vertical feet from here.

BLACKWOOD CANYON SNO-PARK (39.113° N, 120.158° W): Located on the west side of Highway 89, approximately 4.8 miles south of Tahoe City. Follow Blackwood Canyon Road west for 2.3 miles to where it joins the Blackwood Canyon Road trail.

WARD CREEK (39.136° N, 120.180° W): Located on Ward Creek Blvd, approximately 1.3 miles west of Highway 89. Follow the trail west for 5.4 miles until until on top of the ridge connecting Twin Peaks and Stanford Rock. The summit is 0.8 miles west and 800 vertical feet from here.

Summit Ridge
Summit Ridge

Red Tape

The eastern approach to Twins Peaks is regulated by the LAKE TAHOE BASIN MANAGEMENT UNIT and thus is free from most of the regulations that inhibit wilderness areas. No permit is required for day hiking. Parking on Blackwood Canyon and at Alpine Meadows is free. Winter access from Alpine Meadows is subject to dirty looks and rude comments from the over zealous ski patrol. During the winter parking at the Blackwood Canyon Sno-Park requires a SNO-PARK PASS.


Developed campgrounds can be found at Meeks Bay, D.L. Bliss State Park, Emerald Bay State Park, and Bayview. Fees and facilites vary.

Lake Tahoe
View of Lake Tahoe

When To Climb

Highway 89 is open year around allowing all season access to peak. While the Blackwood Canyon Road is not plowed in the winter, the Sno-Park adjacent to Highway 89 is. The peak is generally snow free from July through September. The area is popular with hikers, snowshoers, skiers, snowmobiles, and tourist: do not expect solitude in any season.

Mountain Conditions

Lake Tahoe is subject to a variety of weather conditions, including heavy snowfall in the winter. Weather forcast can be found HERE.

The avalanche advisory can be found HERE.

External Links


Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-4 of 4

fedak - Jun 23, 2009 1:46 am - Hasn't voted

Ward Creek/Barker Pass

Might want to add the two TRT trailheads- Ward Creek (6.2mi) and Barker Pass (5.5mi)


BCL - Jul 5, 2009 11:28 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Ward Creek/Barker Pass

Done, thanks.


fedak - Jul 8, 2009 2:48 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Ward Creek/Barker Pass

Probably should also note that the summit is a class 2/3 talus scramble and that the easternmost of the Twins is the highpoint.


hgrapid - Jun 17, 2012 11:32 am - Hasn't voted

Tahoe Rim Trail out and back?

I think your coordinates for Ward Creek refer to the starting point at FS Road 15N3S, not the Tahoe Rim Trail starting point, which is an out and back and a little further up. The TRT starts at 39.140402, -120.191732

Viewing: 1-4 of 4



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.