Sawtooth Association

Twin Lakes

Know before you go!

ACCESS: The Tin Cup Trailhead at Pettit Lake is very popular with limited parking. Be ready with a back-up plan if you cannot find a parking spot. Park only in designated sites. Please do not park off the side of the road in the sagebrush or other vegetation, it destroys the delicate alpine habitat. There is some overflow parking at the Tin Cup Horse Trailhead.


Please don’t cut switchbacks! It causes erosion, destroys vegetation, and ruins the trail. This trail has many switchbacks, please use them!


Most of our trailheads do not have trash facilities. Please be prepared to pack out all of your trash from the trail and trailhead.


Campfires are NEVER allowed at Twin Lakes or in the Alice/Toxaway drainages because of their high use. If you see a rock fire ring on the ground it is illegal; don't use it.


Due to the high use and lack of natural soil, packing out human waste is strongly recommended here. Help protect our water quality and fragile alpine ecosystems by using wag bags. 


Store your food in a bear hang or bear proof container. A fed bear IS a dead bear. Help keep our wildlife wild.


This trail enters wilderness. You need a free wilderness permit which can be picked up at the trailhead. Make sure you are aware of all the wilderness regulations.


Trailhead: Pettit Lake/Tin Cup Trailhead

Round trip: 12.6 miles

Elevation gain: 2000 ft


Twin Lakes is a very long day hike and also is a backpacking destination. Be prepared for several stream crossings on your way. Expect to get your feet wet year-round. In spring and early summer expect high creeks and swift, cold water. This is a popular lake, please help us take care of it by following Leave No Trace principles.

 Campfires are never allowed in the Alice and Toxaway drainages.

 Photo is snow level in beginning of July. Snow lasts well into the summer on Snowyside Pass.

July snow covered mountains looking down onto twin lakes.