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Twin Lakes

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Twin Lakes (1879. 9.210 feet) (NRD) developed as a resort on the north side of the lower of two lakes. The D&RG stagecoach service from that railroad's depot at Granite enhanced access, as did the opening of the Independence Pass road to the Aspen mines. This hamlet of small log and slab homes has a beautifully restored schoolhouse (1895), the rustic Nordic Inn (c. 1910), and the two-story frame Holt's Hotel (1898).

The Mt. Elbert Pumped-Storage Power Plant (1975, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation) incorporates a fine museum and visitors' center into the voluminous space enclosed in raw concrete, with huge windows overlooking Twin Lakes. This fourteen-story structure, mostly underground on the edge of the lake, is the showpiece of the Frying Pan Arkansas Water Diversion Project, which diverts water from the Frying Pan River on the Western Slope to the agricultural communities of the Arkansas River Valley. The Twin Lakes Dam (1898) enlarged the two natural lakes as an irrigation reservoir.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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