Twin Lakes: Umpqua National Forest

In my mind, hiking adventures with multiple trail options are always a great deal.

And this is true of the Twin Lakes hikes, named after the two nearly identical lakes close to the trails. Located in the Umpqua National Forest, the area is a popular destination for summer camping bliss as well as energetic uphill trekking.

The more relaxing hike option is a simple trail that leads down to the lakeshores. In the summertime these bodies of water are a stunning shade of blue rimmed by sandy beaches. You’ll find primitive campsites, two log shelters and a vault toilet. Enjoy lazy days here, swimming, brook-trout fishing, or just blissing out by the water’s edge.

The other trail is a three-mile hike that begins with a walk up past 1,000-year old trees (Douglass firs and other conifers) to a vista. The trail winds in and out of the trees, opening up to small meadows that are filled with seasonal wildflowers. From the summit you’ll hike down to the two shimmering lakes, a sweeping roll of tree-covered hills, and dramatic rock cliffs.

It’s easy to handle both trail options in one day, and I’d recommend sweating your way up to the vista point first, then hiking back down for a cooling swim and lunch break by the lakes.

Directions to the east trailhead from Roseburg: Take OR-138 east for 50 miles to Marsters Bridge. Cross the bridge and take a right on Forest Road 4770, which you’ll follow for 10 miles to the trailhead.

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