Directions: How to find Twin Lakes Colorado (and a note about online maps)…

Historic Twin Lakes Village is the eastern gateway to Independence Pass and one of the few Colorado communities located near the intersection of the Continental Divide and Colorado Trails. Twin Lakes is adjacent to the scenic Top Of The Rockies byway as well as the headwaters of the Upper Arkansas River, with world-class rafting and fly fishing waters just minutes away. The three main trailheads for ascending Mt Elbert, Colorado’s tallest peak, are all near Twin Lakes. And, for ultra-endurance athletes, the Twin Lakes region is where most of the mileage logged in both the Leadville Trail 100 Run and MTB races happen.

NOTE: The most reliable site for road conditions in Colorado is www.CoTrip.org. Online map apps such as Google can incorrectly state that Hwy 82 is closed to all traffic in winter. In truth, Highway 82 is only closed in winter for about 10 miles on either side of Independence Pass. On the eastern (Twin Lakes) side the actual closure begins at road 82D on the Google map. You can access a lot of great back-country skiing and snowshoeing all winter in and around Twin Lakes. Further, in the early spring and late fall, once the road gates are closed, the pass road is often mostly dry, visited by savvy hikers and cyclists who enjoy the absence of auto/truck traffic. The closure of the actual pass is weather-dependent, though it usually happens on or near November 7 and usually lasts until Noon on the Thursday before May’s Memorial weekend.

From Denver Airport: Approximately 146 miles, about 3 hours driving time.
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Directions when Starting at Denver International Airport, Pena Boulevard, Denver, CO

  1. Follow signs for Airport Exit.
  2. Take Pena Blvd and exit onto I-70 West.
  3. Stay on I-70 West to Exit 195. Exit for CO-91 South–Leadville/Copper Mountain (about 88 miles)
  4. Follow CO-91 into Leadville (about 22 miles)
  5. Follow signs for US-24 East through Leadville(about 15 miles)
  6. Turn right onto CO-82 toward Independence Pass (about 6.4 miles)
  7. Take CO-82 into Twin Lakes and you are ready to have fun.


Directions when starting from Colorado Springs: Approximately 117 miles, about 2.5 hours driving time.

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  1. From downtown.
  2. Head west on E Cimarron Street.
  3. Follow it west (it joins/becomes US-24) travel about 75 miles
  4. Turn left at US-24 W / US-285 S, travel about 13 miles
  5. Turn right when US-285 and US-24W split
  6. Continue straight on US-24 W about 21 miles.
  7. Turn left onto CO-82 toward Independence Pass
  8. Take CO-82 into Twin Lakes and you are ready to have fun.