EveryTrail is now a part of AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Gem Lake Trail

MODERATE 197 reviews

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



nature trips

trail running


horseback riding




wild flowers




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.

14 minutes ago

1 day ago

Gem Lake is a depression at the top of the hike which is rain fed (no creek feeding it). Yes, it's more like a pond, but in a very nice setting. Great for a little relaxing and a snack before heading back down. We broke off Gem Lake Trail to Black Canyon Trail which goes in front of Twin Owls. We then turned left on to Lumpy Ridge Trail for the rest of the return to the trailhead.

3 days ago

Went on this trail for my husband's bday, recommended by a friend--LOVED the views all the way up. The lake is small, but it's so quiet and peaceful and a nice rest after the climb. This trail had our favorite "on the way views!"

6 days ago

Steady climb up with some tall steps near the top. The lake is more of a pond, but is surrounded by a rock formation making it a unique setting. Other interesting formations on the way and beautiful fall colors made for a nice hike.

8 days ago

The views were more them impressive. Our family had a blast exploring caves and just spending good outdoor fun together. This trail was easy enough for my kids but still was challenging in some ways. I gave this trail a 3 because the trail was HEAVILY crowded, the "lake" was a disappointingly small pond and there was A LOT of really tall steps once you got toward the top. They were hard on our knees especially on the way down. Overall I thought it was great

8 days ago

Wow. Everything about this trail is beautiful. From driving to the trailhead to hiking up to the lake, everything is enjoyable. I would absolutely do this hike again.

10 days ago

15 days ago

16 days ago

Lots of stairs. The lake is more of a small pond. Good family hike, pretty views. Incline isn't bad - just a lot of steps.

18 days ago

This trail is scenic for its entire length! The lake at the top isn't the most impressive, but still a nice destination/resting spot after the climb, with pretty views of the mountains. The trail increases in difficulty as you near the lake, with the rock "steps" getting steeper. There is (oddly) a vault toilet at the top. We completed this hike on Sept. 8, and it was quite hot. I'd wait for a cooler day before doing this one again. Definitely recommend!

19 days ago

21 days ago

Quite a climb! Definitely will feel this hike tomorrow!

24 days ago

Gem Lake is one of my favorite hikes to go on with my family. Its always so rewarding to get to the lake and jump in to cool off! I'm so sad that I haven't gotten to go up this year :( good thing that there are still some warm weekends left

25 days ago

26 days ago

Gem Lake has always been one of my favorite hikes. It's fairly short, but steep. However, the views of Estes Park are fantastic and the lake at the top is neat- especially in the winter when it's frozen over. I've seen people bring their ice skates. The trail is well-marked and there's even a little privy near the top.

27 days ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

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!

1 month ago

1 month ago

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