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hiking
19 hours ago

The trail was well marked most of the way, there’s a bathroom about halfway to gem lake. Great scenery and wildlife on the hike up. Gem lake is more like a small lake/pond, the mountains reflected in the water and we thought it was pretty up there. Lots of brave chipmunks coming right up to you once at gem lake too! We thought it was a good hike with nice views on the way up. I would recommend hiking shoes/boots for this trail.

Easy and short hike that doesn’t have a lot of traffic in the morning, but may start to get busier after 12pm. There are many great spots to take very scenic pictures, especially during the fall when the aspens change.
To get there, we parked in the parking lot at the base which costs $35 a day (originally $25 but was charge an extra $10 on the way out), and took the shuttle to the trail, approximately 20 minute ride, which runs every 20 minutes and costs $8 per person for the day. A different shuttle will also take you into town for free.

We did this trail last December. Ended up being about 13 miles round trip from where we had to park, but totally worth it. Gorgeous in the summer, but if you can brave it and don't mind the wind, do this in December-March. The snow makes the hike a good bit harder, but provides an unbelievable view once you reach the lake. Doing this again on 09/23 with the doggos this time!!

hiking
2 days ago

Nice views with the leaves changing colors. The last 1/4 mile had some tough steep hills. Certainly got the heart pounding.

Lovely and manageable hike.

came on a Tuesday...trail was empty . amazing 360 views at the top. moderate hike...pretty aspens here and there. clear signage and lots of parking. I recommend this hike for a short one

I loved this trail! It is a good workout but not too hard. It is well maintained. There are plenty of beautiful sights along the way and at the end there is a very big payoff in the way of a beautiful lake surrounded by an awesome rotunda of rock. I took a dip in the lake and it was exhilarating to say the least. Highly recommended

Not sure why the high rating on this trail. Nothing spectacular. Gem lake is really more like disappointing dirty swamp

4 days ago

Not a difficult trail but a beautiful end point!

Great trail with many great views of cascading waterfalls down a small mountain stream with a spectacular finish at Ouzell Falls. Copeland Falls was also better than expected. Ouzel Falls offers as good of a view as there is in RMNP in my opinion. We took the extra time to hike to the top of Ouzel Falls and it was well worth it. Great views of the aspens changing colors and sounds of running water as the trail follows a mountain stream throughout the hike. Also came across a full grown moose on the return trek. The trail took us just under 3 hrs including a 30+ minute detour to the top of Ouzel Falls. Highly recommended and easy enough for the entire family to enjoy.

We entered from CR 125 and 123–the latter a dirt road with lots of ruts and rocks as we neared the trailhead sign. Be advised that there are at least two different access points and that one may be easier than the other. The trail descended steeply over rocky scree before reaching the creek which it followed through a mountain meadow. The ascent from the meadow to the lake was fairly steep. Although the signage listed the distance to the lake as 1.2 miles,it seemed longer to us.

The lake itself is lovely and remote. We discovered a party of campers who had pitched tents and brought in a kayak. Yes, some of them were swimming!

High clearance four wheel drive vehicles are strongly suggested for accessing trailhead.

Beautiful hike. Limited parking, we arrived at approx 10am and were lucky to find a spot, I recommend going early. Lots of loose rock for nearly the entire trail. Great views, short and sweet.

backpacking
4 days ago

Saw a bull moose on this trail and wonderful views go in the fall !

Arrived 7:15am on a Monday in September. Only 3-4 other cars in the lot and saw no one else on the trail until we hit Isabelle. Water level is low (drained)but it was still a worthwhile hike and there’s still a decent amount of water left. A lot more foot traffic heading up to the lake when we were heading out. Back at the parking lot at 10:30am and lot was full with cars circling to find a spot. Easy hike-the elevation gain comes right before the lake.

I loved this trail. I Had my kids with me and they thought it was great.

A bit crowded on a September weekend, but most trails in the park are at this time. We had to do about .8 miles of road-walking from the shuttle stop, where we were lucky to get a parking space (there were tons of people circling the lots and walking the road). Much of the trail goes through the burn area, which detracts from the scenery, and it's also the most horse-poop-covered trail I've seen in the park. Gross. The lake is lovely and we saw a couple of moose (and the crowds thin after each viewpoint - the pond and the falls - so there weren't tons of people who made it all the way to the lake. We didn't have time to do Odessa, which is reportedly great, but just Fern Lake as a destination was only so-so compared to other hikes in RMNP.

Not a gem in our opinion. More like a small pond and wonder who named it?

Would be a really slow, long drive to the trailhead if you don’t have an SUV. Road is really rocky. But the hike is quick and the falls are beautiful. We took off our shoes once we got to the creek.

Absolutely love this trail! The views all the way to the top were breathtaking, especially since the leaves had begun to change.

Couple of things to plan for:

- The first part of the hike and the last stretch up to the top are deceivingly steep. Be prepared!

- There are no trashcans, so think about what you are going to do with your trash/ dog waste prior to starting!

- There is less parking the longer you wait to get to the trailhead. The early bird gets the worm!

Can’t say enough good things about this trail! It’s a great workout for both people and dogs, with views that can’t be beat! Highly recommend!

Molly Lake Trail was closed, so we went back to this one. Very nice and easy trail with some stream crossings.

hiking
5 days ago

Short hike with great views. I’ve done it a few times and it’s never crowded.

Easy hike from Bear Lake. Amazing views along the way.

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful hike. Well worth it!

Incredible views at the lake! We logged 7.75 miles round trip with a short walk by the lake and parking close to the trail head.

hiking
5 days ago

Great hike - semi quiet going up around 8:30am - lots of good flat parts with few rocky areas. Good forest, mountain and lake views. Parking near trailhead was full so parked at the Brainard Lake lot (past the pay area) so overall mileage out and back was closer to 7.3-7.5 miles.

hiking
5 days ago

It was crowded and I don’t know if I would even call that a Pond! Most definitely not a lake. But there were some great views and it was a decent climb.

Went Saturday, September 15 on a warm sunny day. Trail is short but with a gain of 900 + feet so good exertion. Great views along the way and really good views on top of Estes Park and surrounding mountains. The climb up the rock looks intimidating but is not as daunting. This was first time at Hermit Park but will definitely be back.

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful hike! The aspens are starting to change which made for good sight seeing and of course it’s rutting season, so lots of wildlife in the park. Crowded on the weekend but that’s always to be expected.

hiking
5 days ago

Nice views - especially at the beginning.

hiking
5 days ago

Snowshoed this in late January. Great trail for snowshoes and dog walking.

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