Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
Most mountain bike rides that provide views of towering mountain peaks and beautiful lakes from narrow singletrack are extremely challenging.
Either they require a long climb to access those views, or the trail itself is very technical. Beginner and intermediate riders rejoice: the Twin Lakes Loop is neither of those things! Aside from one short, steep stretch on the far upper end of the lake (which can easily be walked), the Twin Lakes Loop is one of the easiest cross country loop rides you may find in the Colorado High Country.
Taking place on almost perfectly-smooth singletrack, this loop follows the shoreline of the Twin Lakes, meaning there’s very little elevation gain or loss. The views, on the other hand, are out of this world! Mount Elbert, the tallest mountain in the state of Colorado, towers above the lakes, with a host of other 14ers forming a crescent of jagged peaks.
In the fall, the leaves of the aspen trees turn a beautiful gold and snow dusts the top of the neighboring mountains. While the trail is indeed non-technical, it is still of fabulous quality! Narrow singletrack dips and turns along the lakeshore, and a couple of rocks here and there provide a change of pace.
The Colorado Trail also runs concurrently with about half of this loop, and at least two campgrounds accessible from this loop provide great options for staying overnight. Not up to the entire loop? Try an out-and-back up the southern lakeshore from the parking area near the dam.