Gem Lake Trail

MODERATE 181 reviews
#2 of 98 trails in

Gem Lake Trail is a 5.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, CO that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from June until September. Horses are also able to use this trail.

5.5 miles 1341 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

no dogs

Gem Lake is a great little hike with some awesome free views of Estes Park. The hike starts just outside of Estes up Devils Gulch Road. Turn on to Lumpy Ridge Road and park in the lot.


29 minutes ago


4 days ago

hiking

Great hike but I would classify it more toward difficult. It was much steeper than I expected it to be. If you have bad knees or have a hard time with stairs this is not the hike for you. We went early on a Monday so there was hardly anyone on the trail with us. We took our time and enjoyed the wonderful views along the way. I was very grateful for the privy along the trail! Chipmunks are little beggars and quite relentless. Overall it was a great day and a beautiful hike!


7 days ago


9 days ago

hiking

Great hike for a work out, but gem lake is only so-so and pretty crowded when I went


14 days ago

hiking

Steep, but amazing views (of course). Gem Lake was eh...lotsa ground squirrels, chipmunks, and people.


16 days ago


17 days ago

Fun trail with great views and not too difficult.
Can be slippery when wet!


18 days ago

hiking

Lumpy Ridge and Gem Lake trail are well worth the effort. For me, I'd rate this trail slightly more than moderate. The last 1/2 to Gem Lake was strenuous for me at 51 with a bad knee. The views and satisfaction will outweigh any pain I might endure. I started at sunrise when it was 63 and only encountered 3 people on the way up. I was the 2nd car in the parking lot at the trailhead. When I came back down after hiking around and beyond Gem Lake, I met several groups and some nice folks from all over this beautiful country. If you haven't hiked this area, you should make it a point to do so. My memories will last forever. Enjoyed and now off to find some Aleve! Lol


18 days ago

hiking

Hike was slightly challenging (I'm not a continual hiker though) and all I did was stare at a not so impressive pond at the end. The views on the way up are very beautiful though. There's definitely better places to hike in/near Estes Park that feature much more scenic views so I recommend not putting this one on the top of your list or on your list for that matter.


26 days ago

hiking

Climb was on a sunny Sunday. Warm temperature.
This trail is all about the destination, not the journey. It's a simple well worn trail until you near the top. The last 1/4 mile begins the strenuous part. Big steps, some minor rock scrambling. At the top is a nice waterhole. It's not Yellowstone, but it's a nice resting place. If you continue past the water you can spend an hour climbing up a very challenging rock scramble. If you make it to the top of the rocks you are rewarded with a wonderful panoramic view.
If you come here on the weekend expect a crowd. And expect the occasional large party blocking the trail. A few pouty 3 year's olds as well being cajoled up by their parents.
My climb was 4.03 miles including the extra rock scrambling. I'm not sure how All Trails rates it at 5.5 miles. Even the sign at the trailhead says 1.7 miles to the top.
At the end of the hike I felt fatigued. Surprising for a short trail. If you want a strenuous, short climb give this a try. And if you want some free form scrambling this is also good for that. Enjoy!


27 days ago

Hard! it goes up, up, up & on the way down the stairs are pretty tall, so slow on the way down too. but beautiful rocks and views of Estes Park. it took us about 2 hours including a 15 minute stop at the lake.


28 days ago

Little hard for our youngest son (3 1/2). Beautiful hike.


30 days ago

it was a bit challenging for us but we aren't continual hikers. my 3 year old and twin 5 year olds did it along with us.


1 month ago


1 month ago

hiking

It's a moderate climb up to the lake, just didn't think Gem Lake was much of a Gem. Recommended by the visitor's center. THD is outside of the park entrance so you can hike it without paying park entrance fees. Trail starts on private property and crosses over into RMNP. Would I hike it again? probably not. I'm a fan of hikes that I would definitely hike again.


1 month ago

Nice hike, the views during the hike are better than the "payoff" at the top. Gem Lake is certainly NOT Hanging Lake but it's worth the trip.


1 month ago

hiking

Beautiful hike but the poor Aspens have A+L=Love everywhere and it broke my heart.


1 month ago

Great views!


1 month ago

hiking

Beautiful hike, but the kids got in the "lake" and for leeches all over them.


1 month ago

hiking

Came up for my first real hike. It was very challenging but worth it.