Explore Estes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Reviews (4,714)
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Grant Parajuli reviewed Lily Mountain Trail
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HikingIcyRockyScrambleSnow

First half of going up is easy, second half needs some form of traction equipment. Yaktrax worked great for us. Unfortunately the summit had no visibility whatsoever for us due to getting caught in a snowstorm. Watch the weather carefully, the forecast can lie to you.

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Holly Hunt reviewed Gem Lake Trail
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Nature trips

The trail itself is breathtaking and really fun, but we did have a couple issues with other visitors. If you're looking for a very serene and quiet place, you'll need to do this hike on a weekday and maybe closer to the evening. It was busy. If you're new to hiking/not used to high elevation, prepare to go slow and take your time so you can catch your breath. Most of the trail is steep with some "stairs" built in. You don't need any climbing experience and there's no scrambling, but it'll keep your heart rate up. Make sure to turn around and look toward Estes a few times on the way up. The view is spectacular. We also saw some chipmunks and abert squirrels. Very interesting rock formations (we think we spotted an arch/window) and spruce doug fir, and ponderosa trees. The only reason I feel I can't rate this 5 stars is because there was some quite disrespectful activity going on at the lake and on our way down. I love seeing families and young children on trails, but my partner almost got hit in the head with a rock a kid threw downward on the trail and there was lots of overall disruption of the lake (which is SO pristine and beautiful). My partner grew up in Estes and this is a go-to spot for us, but don't get your hopes up for a tranquil experience unless you're here when it's not busy. If you're visiting Estes and want to get a more quiet experience at a lake, try Cub Lake during the week.

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Gideon Wolf reviewed Gem Lake Trail
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Hiking

Lake at the top is nothing special, but the views along the way are breathtaking. No spikes necessary. Moderate uphill climb to the top.

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Zachary Lundgren reviewed Lily Mountain Trail
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Hiking

For just 4 miles, the view at the top is jaw-dropping. Gorgeous view of all of RMNP, Estes, and one of the best views of Longs Peak you'll get. Highly recommend this one. Pretty icy still on the last mile or so -- spikes really help

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Liz Sanchez reviewed Gem Lake Trail
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Hiking

Been hiking this trail a few times over the past few decades. Was definitely easier 20 years ago and 50 lbs lighter, lol The stone steps are a bit high in some spots towards the top making it rough on the knees at times. Nothing beats the breathtaking views from several areas though. The trail definitely keeps the heart rate up. The lake is pretty and peaceful and the chipmunks are friendly. Good times!

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Josephine Baker reviewed Gem Lake Trail
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Hiking

4/12/21- trail was clear with some snow at the top. Didn’t need spikes though! Gem lake was pretty cold so bring an extra jacket and some trekking poles for the way down to save your knees and feet!

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Jun Guo reviewed Lily Mountain Trail
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Hiking

Nice short hike

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Wes Gaiser reviewed Gem Lake Trail
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HikingGreat!IcyMuddyRockySnow

Fun easy trail for out of towners. Just getting used to the elevation takes long enough!

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Ashley Matheny reviewed Gem Lake Trail
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Hiking

Well maintained trail with great views. Definitely a solid workout on a steady incline. Little slick closer to the top, but more than doable without spikes 4/10.

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Brit L. reviewed Kruger Rock Trail
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HikingFeeGreat!IcyRocky

Great trail! Hiked this Saturday 4/10, got there at 8am and the parking lot was empty. Costs $9 to get into the park. Beautiful 360 views! Pretty easy and dry the first half, steady incline. It got really cold and windy the second half, more steep and icy in some parts. Spikes aren’t necessary but poles would help coming down.

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Danielle Lee reviewed Kruger Rock Trail
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Hiking

Amazing views of Longs without too much effort. It was perfect for our dog. The trails are mostly dry with a few icy patches - spikes not required but they were helpful since my dog pulls

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Gregg Corella reviewed Kruger Rock Trail
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HikingGreat!

Great gem of a trail with an unexpected peak view. Great for an easy family trip. Our 7-year old really enjoyed it. Do-friendly too.

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Rachel Fosbender reviewed Gem Lake Trail
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Hiking

Only a few spots at the top that were still icy. The way up is quite the workout if you’re a beginner.

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James Wingerter reviewed Gem Lake Trail
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Hiking

Great trail, went in early April and there were only a few spots with snow / ice. Highly recommend for a spring hike

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Jordan Crowe reviewed Gem Lake Trail
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Hiking

Great hike with views in RMNP. Hike with Meg and Tucker

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Patricia Farmartino reviewed Kruger Rock Trail
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HikingGreat!

The chipmunks are very friendly bring apples and gronola and great hike

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Derrick Quandt reviewed Gem Lake Trail
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Hiking

Good

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Brandi Evans reviewed Gem Lake Trail
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Hiking

Amazing trail! Definitely on the more difficult side especially for someone not used to this elevation. It took about an hour to reach the lake, but we stopped several times to take a break and some pictures. Amazing views on the way up. There is a little outhouse bathroom near the top! The lake is stunning so the hike is well worth it!!

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Denise Tate reviewed Lily Mountain Trail
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Hiking

Dry for the first mile and snow packed to the top. Poles and micro spikes are helpful.

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Katelyn De Starkey reviewed Lily Mountain Trail
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HikingGreat!Icy

Hikes on 4/7/21 The first mile was a great change from the other RMNP hikes we have been doing - sand and rocks with occasional patches of snow, but the last mile was pretty slick. Definitely needed spikes for that part! The last 2/10 of a mile were very steep (a light scramble?), but the views were AMAZING! Very windy at the top. Worth the climb!

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