2 Day Backpacking Trip – Twin Lakes

The Map

Want more detail, or the GPX version of this route?  Click here.

The Video

If you’re looking for a backpacking trip that has little elevation gain, pretty views, and provides the illusion of being far out in the wilderness, then hiking around Twin Lakes is a great choice.  Trish and I headed out there for a quick two-day backpacking trip and it didn’t disappoint.  In fact, we were pleasantly surprised by the beauty and seclusion of this little gem since it’s a hike that can be accessed right off of highway 26.  But I’m not complaining.  We had a wonderful time, and so did our dog, Bryn.

The Limitless Joy of Hiking with Dogs

Trish and I have always loved hiking, but bringing along our dog Bryn has made our hiking experience that much more enjoyable.  We had a great first day watching Bryn jump over huge logs, swim through relatively secluded lakes, and sprint after the hundreds of chipmunks we saw along the trail (I swear they were taunting her the entire time).

After a few hours of hiking along the PCT, we chose a campsite at Twin Lakes North because it was a little more secluded than the lower.  After setting up camp and taking a quick dip in the lake, we both decided to head out on a short day hike to summit Palmateer Peak, a worthwhile trip for sure, as we saw stunning views of Mount Hood and the foothills that surround it.

After heading back to camp, we cooked dinner – a dehydrated curry I made earlier in the summer – and then spent the rest of our evening chatting about the hike, watching Bryn entertain herself in the lake, and drinking can wine, a newly found luxury item sure to become a staple in future hiking packlists.

Things that Go Bump in the Night

We went to bed around 9:30pm, but were awoken after 10:30pm to the sound of a very large animal choking on something just outside our tent.  Usually Bryn warns us of any wild intruders with a rather intimidating bark, but she sat curled up in a ball at our feet without making a peep, which had both of us a little unnerved.  Although we didn’t hear the animal the rest of the night, neither of us slept well and were happy when morning finally came.

We got out of bed around 6am and, after a leisurely breakfast of granola and coffee, decided to pack up and head out around 8am.  We took the long circuitous route along Frog Butte Trail, which turned out to be a bit steeper and less maintained than the PCT, but eventually made our way back to the car.  We drove to one of the many great restaurants along Highway 26 called Wraptitude, and then headed for home, a great little micro adventure to herald the waning of summer and the start of the school year for me.