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The aptly named town of Twin Lakes, Colorado lies adjacent to two natural lakes at the foot of Colorado highest fourteener, Mt. Elbert.
Twin Lakes is not quite a ghost town. It suffered boom-and-bust cycles as miners poured into the valley hunting easy gold, picked the area clean, and moved on. Next, when prospectors discovered silver in Aspen, Twin Lakes became a crucial stop on the road over Independence Pass, until the railroads provided a faster and easier route. Finally, it became a tourist destination. Today, it is simple one of the most beautiful spots in the world for recreation and relaxation.
The lakes are used year-round for fishing, and from thaw-to-freeze by canoes, kayaks, and motorboats. But it is also an ideal launching point for hiking, mountain biking and climbing. Photographers will find countless scenes on which to focus their lenses. Bed & breakfasts, cabin rentals and campgrounds in nearby national forest make this an excellent choice for a mountain getaway.
The valley is crossed by both the Continental Divide Trail and the Colorado Trail, and provides access to several mountains. History buffs enjoy the Twin Lakes Historic District and the historic Inter-Laken resort. The old cemetery is a reminder of the harsh conditions of nineteenth-century life.
The large concrete structure on the north shore is the Mount Elbert Powerplant (closed to the public). Water is pumped uphill to Forebay Reservoir during hours of low energy use. Then, when extra electricity is needed during the day, the water is sent through turbines and released back into Twin Lakes.
The town has few services which vary depending on time of year. Campgrounds, backpacking trails and lodges offer a variety of accommodations.