Credit Elizabeth Malone
Notes: These two stunning crystal clear alpine lakes
are located in the Eastern Sierras. The well
maintained Twin Lakes Road is an easy and relatively
flat drive. The intriguing scenery, minimal amount of boat
traffic, and perfect water conditions make this a
must-see paddling destination. If it weren’t for the cold
winters, I’d move there in a heartbeat.
The wilderness surroundings provide
extraordinary scenery throughout a stunning array of
pristine waterways. Whatever your fancy, you're sure
to have a good time. Twin Lakes is located in a
region of great beauty. While you take in the
scenery and tranquility around you, be sure to take
your camera to capture breathtaking sunrises and
sunsets, and spectacular views.
On warm days, the
lake's refreshing waters will be your siren song,
luring you to dangle your toes in, take a swim, or
get out onto the lake for some aquatic fun. The
summer air temperatures can vary greatly from the
day to the night, often up to 40 degrees.
Upper Twin Lake has a 35 m.p.h. boat
speed limit and allows jet and waterskiing, whereas
Lower Twin Lake’s boat speed limit is 5 m.p.h. The
only boats I saw on either lake while I was there
were a couple of small fishing boats and a number of
kayaks pulled up upon the shore. Otherwise, I had
these two lakes entirely to myself. After a
satisfyingly paddle on the water, this superb
kayaking experience will leave you full, rested and
Kayak Fishing: Twin Lakes hums with outdoor
activity all summer long. Enjoy pristine fishing,
boating, camping, and hiking. Twin Lakes is a
kayak angler’s haven, not only does it have stunning
scenery, but some of the largest brown trout found
in California have been caught here.
Annett's Mono Village and Lower Twin Lakes Resort,
have started "enhancing" the state's fish-planting
efforts by offering an extra 6,000 to 10,000 trout
per season. The California record trout weighing in
at 26 pounds, eight ounces, was caught here.
Whether you prefer fly fishing, kayak fishing,
shore fishing, tube float fishing or stream fishing,
this Mono County paradise will fulfill your needs.
Upper and Lower Twin Lakes annually offer up trophy
trout. The lake is
heavily planted with rainbow trout which are what
most anglers catch. The lake also holds a healthy
population of eastern brook trout.
Wind & Weather Conditions: The average summer
daytime air temperature is 70 degrees, but it was 85
degrees in July the last two times I was here. It is
usually calm during the morning and often throughout
the entire day. However, according to local
paddlers, the wind can become gusty by the
afternoon. Both lakes are closed during the winter
due to heavy snow fall.
Terrain: This Eastern Sierra destination is
in the Toiyabe National Forest. Upper and Lower Twin
Lakes are surrounded by breathtaking mountain
scenery. These interconnected Twin Lakes are
beautiful; each well over a mile long, and about
half a mile wide. Twin Lakes are nestled under the
jagged crest of the Sawtooth Ridge.
rugged and scenic Hoover Wilderness Area can be
accessed from the Twin Lakes area, and has
additional trails for hiking and horseback riding. The vibrant colors of the
snow-capped mountains covered with tall pines cast
perfect reflections on the smooth, cold-water of
Twin Lakes, providing breathtaking scenery during an
idyllic paddle. The spring is ushered in with
wildflowers. In the fall, the mountains are clothed
with vibrant colors as the Aspens get ready for
Open: The lakes are open for kayaking seven days
a week, sunrise to sunset, from the last weekend in
April to October 31st. Upper Twin Lake has a 35
m.p.h. boat speed limit and Lower Twin Lake has a 5
m.p.h. speed limit.
Fees: There isn’t any day use or fee to launch,
but there is a fee to camp.
Lake Facilities: The facilities consist of
boating, sailing, fishing, a full-service marina,
boat rentals, a grocery store and a boat launch.
Waterskiing is allowed on Upper Twin Lake. Horses
are available to rent at Hunewill Guest Ranch.
Directions: From the town of Bridgeport,
traveling north on Interstate 395, turn left on Twin
Lakes Road. Drive about twelve miles to the lakes,
launch and campgrounds.