Driving SW, up along the 4WD road SW of the South Mineral CG, watch for an old road that veers off on the right at about 10,600 ft. The trail we used for this hike was marked in 2003 by a small cairn on the side of the road at this location. It led down to the creek, losing about 100 feet, and then began climbing on the other side. This newer trail is used by the Silverton 100 as part of their route and we'll call this option #1. Another start possibility would be farther SW up the road at the point where it splits to drop down into the meadow and crosses South Mineral Ck. A trail shows on Google Earth that drops down to the main creek, crosses it, climbs back up through willows, then joins another trail, fully on the east side of the main creek and heads back to the NE. This access should get you to the trail shown on the "MapBuilder Hybrid." We'll call this option #2. At the creek, we had to take off our boots and wade across before getting underway. After climbing up about 100 yards or less, the trail joins another trail on the east side of the creek. Here are some coordinates to try: Option #1: N 37° 47' 31" W 107° 47' 36". Option #2: N 37° 47' 20" W 107° 47' 50". The main goal is to get across South Mineral Creek and then find the trail that will take you uphill to the east and eventually lead into the Porcupine Creek drainage.
Above South Mineral Creek, the trail follows along the forest edge and begins climbing steeply along the north edge of a steep, shallow gully with no water. The steepest hiking of this trip is in this section where you will gain well over 600 feet on a series of switchbacks. Around 11,200 ft., the trail moderates some and begins to contour more, winding through the forest, crossing a minor ridge and then bringing you out into a clearing at the foot of a great, rock glacier. Continue following the trail down some to the east, crossing a flower filled basin with some water in a small stream and then contouring through more forest to a crossing of Porcupine Creek. Before this crossing, we passed through an interesting area of great boulders, covered in moss and other plants, that had fallen from cliffs far above, many ages ago.
On the other side of Porcupine Creek, the trail climbs east, then south through a field of gorgeous flowers, mostly blue columbine, paintbrush and assorted yellow, daisy-like blooms. The trail climbs up one switchback into a small, level area, ascends another rock band and emerges at yet another large, level meadow. From here, head for the pass at 12,200 ft. on the eastern flank of Twin Sister East. The entire area is laced with elk trails, but on our hike we did not actually see any here. At the pass, pick up a well-used trail (by elk mostly) that rounds a ridge and grants access into the upper reaches of Cataract Creek. This trail is not the Colorado Trail which is a short distance to the south and downhill. You can see the two trails on the MapBuilder Hybrid. This drainage is an interesting place. The lower portion of the basin is entirely rimmed by a cliff that forms a narrow valley, filled with lush grass. There were elk grazing down in there. At the head of this valley, is a mile wide basin of gentle slopes and tundra. Flowers abound.
Walk east across the upper basin, rapidly heading for your destination, which you can now clearly see. On the other side of the basin head, begin hiking up the steeper slopes of V.7, walking almost exclusively on forgiving tundra and clumps of grass. After about 600 feet, gain the south ridge of the peak, turn north and follow the ridge to the small, grassy summit. Best features of this hike are: wildlife viewing and abundant flowers in mid-July. Return as you came or if you have time, include the Twin Sisters.