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Access for the Willis Gulch TH is on SH 82 from either the east or west. On the east side, turn west onto SH 82 for Twin Lakes from US 24 between Leadville and Buena Vista. The trailhead is about 2.2 miles west of on the south (left) side of the road. The TH is marked for Willis Gulch. It's easiest to use the coordinates we provide which are below. The road you turn in on leads down to the Lake Fork and a newer bridge that crosses the river.
If approaching from the west, we're assuming hikers will be coming from/through Aspen. Take SH 82 east from Aspen all the way over Independence Pass. Drop on down the east side of the pass into the Lake Creek valley heading south, then east. From the turnoff for the Parry Peak Campground, drive another .65 mile. The turnoff for the trailhead will be on the right.
There are several Forest Service campgrounds in this area. West of the trailhead are the Twin Peaks CG and the Parry Peak CG. East of the TH and a little east of the village of Twin Lakes, there's the White Star CG on the south side of the highway and on the lake shore, and on the north side of SH82 is the Lake View CG. There's also Dexter Point, east of Twin Lakes Village. Dexter, Parry and Twin Peaks CG do not take reservations. White Star and Lake View do. The Twin Lakes area is one of the most popular weekend destinations so campgrounds fill up rapidly.
In addition to national forest campgrounds, there's also numerous at-large camping possibilities along the Lake Fork west of Twin Lakes. One of our favorite spots is called "Graham Gulch." See coordinates below.