TWIN LAKES TRAIL
LAKESHORE (HUNTINGTON LAKE), CA
TWIN LAKES TRAIL
Distance: 8.2 miles roundtrip (out and back)
Elevation Gain: 1,437 feet
Seasonality: May through October due to snow
Trailhead: One main trailhead, Twin Lakes Trailhead/Badger Flatt, 4.5 miles down Kaiser Pass Road
Parking: Approx 35 parking spots in a lot across the street from the trailhead.
Facilities: Two pit toilets in the trailhead parking lot. No potable water on the trail.
The Twin Lakes Trail is one that every Central Valley resident should visit at least once in their hiking adventures. Nestled in the Kaiser Wilderness, the trail provides a unique combination of sprawling meadows, lakeshore views, and forest trail. Luckily this pristine trail was not impacted by the 2020 Creek Fire, despite the fire's reach affecting nearly everywhere around Shaver/Huntington with the exception of Kaiser Ridge and Twin Lakes area.
This trail is really only accessible from May to October. When this hike was documented in May 2020, there was still a decent amount of snow that obstructed some parts of the trail. At one point, there was a patch of snow that hadn't been packed down and when stepped on, your boot and leg would sink down about 3 feet.
Trip Planner Details:
To get to this trailhead, it will take you about 2 hours from the center of Fresno. Your drive will start like you are headed to Shaver Lake, but after Shaver, you keep going north on 168 to Huntington Lake and even farther east to Kaiser Pass Road.
The trailhead and parking lot is located approximately four and a half miles up Kaiser Pass Road, east of Huntington Lake. Once you cross over the bridge over the eastern-most part of Huntington Lake, you will want to take a hard right onto Kaiser Pass Road. Don't keep following the road after the bridge, as Highway 168 ends becomes Huntington Lake Road that takes you to the lake's north shore.
There is only one main trailhead for this hike, but there are a few alternate ways you can get to Potter Pass (the approximate midpoint of this hike). The Potter Creek Trail begins near D&F Pack Station at the end of Upper Deer Creek Lane and joins the Twin Lake Trail at Potter Pass. A trailhead for the Potter Pass Trail also intersects halfway through the Potter Creek Trail, but access to that area off of Kaiser Pass Road is not guaranteed. It is recommended that you use the main trailhead.
There is no day use fee to park in the trailhead parking lot. This is a dog-friendly trail.
When You Do Your Research:
This is a pretty straight forward hike and easy to drive to. You'll see that this is a popular hike which means since the parking lot is small, you'll want to start early to ensure you find a parking spot.
Tips From One Who Hiked It:
Bring a hammock or a comfy seat so you can enjoy the views comfortably by the shore of Upper Twin Lake. Lower Twin Lake does not have as much space to sit down and enjoy the views, although this tends to be a quieter area since many just pass this lake in route without stopping to take in its beauty. If you're looking for a bit more adventure, you can make an additional 2 mile round trip trek to George Lake.