If South Twin was my Summer Camp then North was were I daren’t go. I’m not sure why, North Twin is literally that, a twin to my beloved lake. The lakes were formed over 20,000 years ago when a (giant) stream of molten lava collided with water. The resulting explosion created two shallow craters, a mile apart. The lakes have no inlet or outlet and instead are filled (and drained) by seepage through their volcanic rock bottoms.
At 112 Acres, North Twin is slightly larger and deeper than South. It is also home to illegally introduced catfish. Both lakes are stocked with rainbow trout and fishing reports this year are fair to good! These little lakes are relatively calm compared to larger lakes along The Cascade Lakes Highway. Tree-lined except for a few small beaches, they are relatively protected from the cold mountain wind. I’ve run from Summer rain showers in Sunriver up to North Twin and found it dry, unaffected by the rain except for a bright purple sky.
A small campground has 20 reservable sites and one vault toilet. The lake shore offers a day use area with picnic tables.
Adjacent is The Lewis Roth Dwarf Mistletoe Trail. The trail was installed in 2013 and offers a fantastic view of North Twin from a ridge above the lake. Interpretive sites serve to educate hikers about the deadly infestation of Dwarf Mistletoe on Ponderosa Pines. This pesky little parasite attacks and feeds off the Ponderosa’s, slowly choking them to death. Wildfires used to regulate the Mistletoe and encourage reproduction in Ponderosa dominate forests. Today, without education and preservation, these giant trees will be as extinct as the dinosaurs.
Read more about Ponderosa Pines in my Fall River Trail Post!
Beyond the interpretive trail is, of course, my favorite part. The (sort-of) half forgotten trail to the ‘other side’ of the lake. A woody trip though large pines opens up to a private beach. The day use area is visible from here but far enough away to give the illusion of total solitude. One can only help but feel primitive out here, it’s easy to want to build a shelter and stay the night.
One could continue on from here and make it all the way around the lake. You could go further and connect up to the mile long trail to South Twin. Make it a dinner hike and hit up The Twin Lakes Resort for Prime Rib on Saturday nights!
North Twin Lake is located 18 miles up South Century Drive. Take the first Left after you turn onto Forest Road 4260 towards South Twin.