Autumn Aspen Autobahn: Twin Lakes Side
This time of year, it’s known as the #AutumnAspenAutobahn, as Colorado Highway 82 going over Independence Pass becomes flooded with tourists – and locals alike, from both sides of the mountain – looking to take in that incredible autumn drive. For many, it will be the last cruise of the season, before the snow shuts down the pass until next spring. So if you have plans to take a cruise through Twin Lakes to enjoy the fall colors, here are some helpful Leadville Today travel tips about southern Lake County.
One of autumn’s most beloved Twin Lakes features is The Praying Angel. This magnificent arbor display, kneels proudly throughout an aspen groove, across the way at Twin Lakes Reservoir. And this time of year, the golden leaves really make her shine. The best place to view this unique mountainscape is at the Praying Angel Fishing Access Spot. Turn off Highway 82 at the Red Rooster entrance, look for the “Boat Tours” sign. There’s plenty of parking, so that you can safely enjoy this special sight, away from the busy highway.
While there, consider taking a cruise to get a closer look at the Praying Angel with a Twin Lakes Interlaken Boat Tour. These scenic, narrated tours of Twin Lakes include both the upper and lower glacially formed lakes, as well as the historic Interlaken resort, established in the late 1800’s as a getaway for wealthy mining tycoons. The views can’t be beat and you’ll learn plenty about the geology of the area, wildlife, history, and even some Twin Lakes folklore. They depart daily at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and other times, by reservation. Contact: 866-936-3654 or online.
Of course, every worthy #FallColors road trip requires some good snacks and drinks, so be sure to stop in at Twin Lakes General Store owned by Carl and Katie Bryan and their growing family. This one-stop-shop packs in just about anything you’d need from fishing tackle to fire wood to a variety of foods to satisfy any hunger. They are also a lifeline to backpackers who need to re-supply during their lengthy trail treks.
“My wife and I are enthusiastic about the hikers that have visited!” explains owner Carl Bryan. “We are striving to serve your needs as a BACKPACKING RESUPPLY. We have multiple food choices, instant foods, ice cream, technical gear, and more.” They also support the great exchange with their “give and take” hiker box at the front door. Oh, and if you need to re-fuel the vehicle, they can help fill your tank too! The Twin Lakes General Store is located at 6451 E Hwy 82 in the Village of Twin Lakes. Their hours are Sun – Thur: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Fri – Sat: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
#AutumnAspenAutobahn visitors can certainly round out their experience of nature’s beauty, by checking out the art beauty created by painters and crafty folks on display at the Shooting Star Gallery. A collection of Twin Lakes artists, this one-of-a-kind shop displays everything from handmade jewelry, wood carvings, and stained glass, to hand-knit hats, and so much more. A great place to stop on your trip across the mountains! You can find them on Highway 82 in the heart of the little village of Twin Lakes; look for the tables and umbrellas out front. They will remain open for the season through September.
If you’re looking for more of a meal to satisfy those hunger pangs, then planning ahead is the best option at this point in the season in the Village of Twin Lakes. The restaurant inside The Twin Lakes Inn continues to serve up tasty meals through September 24. The Dayton Dining Room takes its title from the original name – Dayton – given to Twin Lakes Village back in the 1800s. Their meals feature comfortable Colorado and American cuisine served just the way you love it! Dinner service runs from 5 – 8:30 nightly. Weekend lunch service Friday – Sunday starts at Noon. Reservations are strongly recommended due to limited seating capacity.
Please note that Punky’s Mobile Food Trailer has packed it in for the season, after an “incredible summer!” They’ll be back next spring and gainign quite a reputation for some of the best burgers around.
So there’s some news from the Twin Lakes side of Independence Pass. See you on the #AutumnAspenAutobahn! And seriously, slow down!