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Just east of Waldo Lake, The Twins is a cinder cone that offers perhaps the easiest access, both driving and hiking, to expansive views up and down the Cascades. On a clear day, you can definitely see north to Mount Jefferson and south to Mount McLoughlin as well as east to the shallow reservoirs and lakes south of Bend and west to Waldo Lake itself. The hike is only 3 ¼ miles one way, and you can visit both of The Twins and do a short off-trail excursion down through the lovely crater.

The hike begins at the trailhead right off of paved Road 5897. Almost immediately, you’ll pass the junction at the northern terminus of the Gold Lake Trail. The woods here are composed mostly of mountain hemlock with a few western white pines and patches of lodgepole pine. The trail crosses over a low ridge with a lush tarn meadow down to the left. Then you’ll continue gently up to the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail, where you keep straight.


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