If you’ve never driven through the Arkansas River valley in Colorado, you are a complete jackass and living like a hermit. The highest mountains in the US Rocky Mountains tower high above the river and the cool little towns that dot the valley are all worth spending a few days in. This mountain range makes up the Continental Divide. The backbone of the country. Put it on your list or I’ll feed you to the tigers (like Carol Baskin).
There are tons of camping areas in this part of Colorado and Twin Lakes is one of the most scenic. The lakes sit at the foot of Mount Elbert, the highest point in the United States. It’s a great place to hike this 14,000 foot peak and a jumping off point for enjoying the lakes, trails, rivers, and all things outdoors. The Colorado Trail runs right next to the lakes as well if you are that cool or disturbed.
Campsites surround the lake, but there are a few dispersed spots. One in particular was good to us. From this site, you can hike easily to the lakes and a good swath of beach. This area is amazing for families and their dogs.
Directions: From Denver, drive to Buena Vista, CO or Leadville, CO. Twin Lakes is halfway between these two towns. Take the Independence Pass road (82) towards Aspen (cue Dumb and Dumber) but don’t go too far up the road. Take a left on 25 dirt road and see the map below. Not too many in this area so get there early.