This hike is best enjoyed early in the day. Late in the year (or early in the new year), start hiking shortly after sunrise to enjoy the cold beauty of the winter morning—the golden sunshine on the rocks, trees, and desert plants creates glorious patterns and colors along this desert trek. If you’re lucky, a morning frost will have cast a mantle of crystal white over the sagelands so that the sun sparkles magically off the icy landscape. Heading west through the fence behind the sign-in reader board, jump onto the first leg of the loop, which rolls due west for about 1.5 miles. The rich foliage along this stretch shelters a strong population of Hungarian partridges.
This first section of the loop is fairly flat and level. At about 1.5 miles, look for a path that heads to the left (south). The trail winds down and around the rocky landscape and past a lovely small lake (seasonal). About 0.5 mile past the lake, go left. After crossing open desert prairie, cross the main road that enters the Twin Lakes region. Across this road, to the west, is another jeep track that takes you down to the crossing between the two Twin Lakes.
© Alan L. Bauer & Dan A. Nelson/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.