Twin Sisters

April 5, 2022

The Twin Sisters are a pair of bullet-bra volcanos bridged by a mysterious white ridge that is visible from almost anywhere in Silver City. I've been obsessed by them since my first days in my new hometown. What was this ridge made of? Was it possible to hike across it? A number of trails appeared to link to it, but only via a long and difficult hike:
· Little Cherry Creek - 11 miles RT, 2000' gain/loss
· Sawmill Wagon Road - 13 miles RT, 1900' gain/loss
· Arrastra - 9 miles RT, 1500' gain/loss

Twin Sisters in the Fall

And then one day I ran across a reference online to "the parking lot at the CDT trailhead on Signal Peak Road". If there was a parking lot, did it mean that you could drive up FR 154? If you could, Twin Sisters would be 8 miles RT with only 1300' gain/loss.

bleak trailhead

And so on a perfect Spring morning Kim R-S, Dennis and I crept up a rough 4WD road through a large burn scar, and located the trailhead and "parking lot" right where it was supposed to be. The wind was howling, as it always does this time of year, and the moaning of the blackened and bare trees gave us the willies.

patches of snow on the trail

But after a patch of deadfall, we emerged in a lovely Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine forest, with patches of snow on the north side of the mountain.

happy hikers

Except for an occasional downed tree, the trail was in excellent condition, and we padded along happily on a carpet of pine needles.

distant view of Twin Sisters

Still the entire hike was above 8000 feet, and we weren't making great time. When we first saw the Twins from this unusual angle, we couldn't believe they were still so far away!

sign at the trail juntion

Many other trails intersect the CDT along this ridge. We ate lunch in a lovely saddle at the junction with Sawmill Wagon Road and Little Cherry Creek.

steep uphill scramble

The last quarter mile of the hike was a brutal ascent up the backside of the ridge, but we weren't about to turn back having come this far.

Dennis overlooking the ridge

And there we were, in the Twin Sisters' cleavage, with a stupefying view.

Kim on the ridge

Victory was ours!

Overview of the ridge

Trying to take it all in.

panorma from the top of the ridge

Scroll for a panorama!

staying low

With a sheer thousand-foot drop to the east, Kim and I were content to stay low and admire the view while Dennis explored the ridge.

Dennis with a handy talkie

Dennis had brought along a handy talkie as a safety precaution, and actually made two radio contacts via the Black Peak repeater.


There weren't many flowers out, but we did see a few fleabanes.



white-breasted nuthatch

The bird of the day was the White-breasted nuthatch. They were everywhere!

It was a long walk back — three miles of relentless uphill. But the forest was so beautiful! I tried to capture the peacefulness of this day with a short video.