Twin Lakes Roadhouse Lodge and Cabins
Twin Lakes, a quick 30 minutes southwest of Leadville in Colorado’s high Rocky Mountain region, is an astonishing alpine destination by itself — or an equally fun place to pause on a winding, high-elevation drive along the Top of the Rockies scenic byway. Make Twin Lakes Roadhouse Lodge and Cabins your cozy home base while you’re up there.
Tucked in an iconic, 130-year-old mountain village, the Roadhouse is a gem of a spot for outdoorsy activities like fishing in Twin Lakes Reservoir and hiking along well-worn trails to sights like secret beaver ponds. Or simply hang at the lodge for some peaceful mountain ogling and dinner at the neighboring Twin Lakes Inn & Saloon.
Made up of multiple old-timey structures, the location looks a bit like a rustic-cabin neighborhood — as if it started with one structure and was added onto over time. Dining tables, a perfect spot for lingering, are set up on the spacious covered porch.
What makes it special?
It’s everything — from the snowcapped peaks in the background to the porches strewn with decorative plants to the Old West-style lodgings to the cute resident kitties.
The most “Colorado” thing about this place
Colorado’s highest peak, Mount Elbert, lives in the vicinity (about an hour’s drive though it appears much closer as the crow flies). If you like to bag 14ers, this 14,439-foot beast is a worthy opponent.
Best room to book
Dubbed the “honeymoon suite,” the one-bedroom Carriage House will give you plenty of space to spread out and stay awhile. You can relax in front of the gas-log fireplace, prepare a snack in the cozy kitchen nook or sit on the deck for lake views.
It’s so cool, it’s worth mentioning again! The Carriage House’s private deck — outfitted with useful items, like an umbrella-covered table and cushioned chairs — is perfect for stargazing and recounting the day’s adventures with whomever you’re traveling with.
Most unexpected amenity
If you’re lucky, you’ll find yourself nibbling on “Famous Roadhouse” cinnamon rolls with your steaming morning coffee. These oozing-with-decadence goodies are made right there at the lodge.
Quirkiest thing to expect
How many people can say they’ve slept on bedsheets dried by a Rocky Mountain breeze? The lodge’s crisp, white linens are hung on lines and dried outdoors, just like they used to be once upon a time.
Our favorite traveler review
“Wow, this little piece of heaven and relaxation is such a find. We only stayed two days as it was a rest day for my husband while he hikes the Colorado Trail, but we will be back for a week. We want to sit on the porch and visit with others or read while we look out at the lake. The buildings are all historic on the outside but updated completely on the inside. … And Steve and Constance are always around to answer questions about the history of Twin Lakes and their property, so check this wonderful place out for your next stay.” — KathyAnn55, Tripadvisor
Things to see & do nearby
Drive the Top of the Rockies scenic byway, from Minturn all the way to Aspen or over to Copper Mountain, and make sure you see the tallest and second tallest peaks in Colorado — Mount Elbert and Mount Massive respectively.
Prioritize popping over to Aspen via Independence Pass, which is typically open May through early November and boasts amazing fall colors if you’re into that sort of thing. Check out Independence Pass travel information to confirm it’s open >>
You should also wander around Victorian-era Leadville, stopping by Melanzana for outdoorsy clothing made right there by hand. Follow the self-guided architecture trail for background on the 70 square blocks of Leadville’s downtown area designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Photos courtesy of Twin Lakes Roadhouse Lodge and Cabins