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My gps read 7.0 miles round trip. I made it up to the lake at a slow, steady pace in 2 hours. My hubby likes to cruise and made it in an hour and a half. Good workout. We left the trailhead at 7am and I’m glad we did. Ran into a lot of folks coming up on our way down, and the rain started to move in around 10:30. Only downfall is the poorly tended porta potties and no trash can at the trailhead for “doggy bags.”

Lots of wildflowers and beautiful vistas- took off a star because of the bags o poop situation. Forever dragging my own dog away from them- pack it out or don't bring your dog!! It makes it gross for everybody! Would rate this hike easy-moderate- we didn't find it as challenging as some hikes in this area

hiking
20 hours ago

Great hike for views over Estes. The lake was a little disappointing. Definitely start early to avoid the crowds.

camping
20 hours ago

Awesome camping area 2 miles from parking. Get there early as non 4wheel drive parking is limited. Easy trail to navigate if you pay attention. Several waterfalls on the way up if you open your ears. 9 campsites at the lake that are first come first serve basis. All are nice but some better than others. There are several cool trails above the lake that you can explore old mines and get an awesome view of devils thumb. Pack your fly pole as you can slay fish up there in the morning or evening. Permit not required as you are not in Indian Peaks Wilderness

beautiful trail, with some very satisfying high alpine and lake views after a short ascent. Only 4 stars because this trail was crowded with both people and dogs. There are no indications that dogs need to be on leash for this trail, but I got a lot of dirty looks from folks that were leashing their pups. I would do this hike again if I had out of town guests that weren't that acclimated, but wanted to see some nice vistas.

short and sweet, if you follow the river instead of the main trail, you'll be treated to a old log cabin and beautiful waterfalls. The main trail is a twisted ankle waiting to happen. The lake is pretty but fairly non descript. Filled with little Brook trout.

This place is amazing! 3 lakes, beautiful mountain views & a ton of wildflowers. Parked at the lower trailhead, so it does add a little less than a mile to your hike, which was no big deal. Got an early start, so hardly anyone on the trail when I started, the crowds started to come as I was heading back down. Not too long of a hike, I tracked it at 6.3 miles.

Great hike toward the late afternoon it wasn’t as crowded as it could have been

Great hike but can get a bit crowded

This was a nice unplanned hike after we couldn’t park at Bearlake trailhead. Even on a Saturday during July not that busy. The treat was a pristine lake with a beautiful view of the mountains in the background.

Definitely a bucket list hike! Beautiful wildflowers. Make sure you bring your hiking poles. Very steep in some areas. Worst part of hike was roadbed from parking lot to trailhead.

Great trail and gorgeous scenery. Three awesome alpine lakes and some good photo ops. Trail very well maintained. Great for families too.

Great trail. Incredible views. Worth the hike.

Great little hike with beautiful views! A waterfall gushes noisily by you once you’re halfway up, and wildflowers are abundant at this time of the year. It has a good amount of shade as well. The only disadvantage is parking at the trailhead. This is a VERY busy trail, and parking is a nightmare. We added a mile each way to our hike because of the parking situation. I would try and take a 4WD with high clearance to allow for parking closer to the trailhead - Basically you can go down a narrow rocky road (read the directions on other hikes in this app, that start at Hessie trail head - King Lake, Jasper Lake). If your car can make it through that path (which also has water year around, so you are driving through a small stream), your hike will be shorter. Else, your best bet with parking is somewhere in the town of Eldora. Good luck and enjoy the hike!

So. Many. Wildflowers! Busy trail- get there early

hiking
2 days ago

Simply beautiful. Good combination of streaky climb with three good inclines. Surprises along the way. Gorgeous wild flowers and when there are no other people the sounds of the running water and run-off waterfalls are incredible.

My boys and my dogs did this trail yesterday. It was so beautiful pretty easy hike. It was irratatting to see bags of dog poop left up there.. we packed out someone else's...if your not going to clean up after your dog then don't put it in a plastic bag and leave it! Be a responsible pet owners and clean it up and take it with you. I find the laziness frustrating. I have two dogs and if they poop we take it out with us. It is not that hard. I see this all the time on our hikes..grr

2 days ago

Second time and always beautiful. Go on a weekday if you can. Great for dogs with water throughout trail.

hiking
2 days ago

gorgeous hike! loved the water! lots of shade and green! Did this with my kids.

on Gem Lake Trail

hiking
2 days ago

Not too crowded compared to the other popular trails! Not too challenging, and the summit is just beautiful. You can hang out at the lake for an hour or two before heading back. Very satisfying hike, would recommend!

Absolutely beautiful hike. I went in May and there was still plenty of snow and ice, but returning in July that was all gone and replaced with plenty of green trees and wildflowers. The hike itself is fairly short and easy, but there are plenty of other trails that branch off if you're looking for a little more.

Loved this!! The scenery and rock formations everywhere were spectacular!! Took my 5 kids ages 5-13 . Was a challenge for them in length just because they haven’t done many long ones and it was raining most of the time. Will definitely do again on a dry day! Had a blast and loved the views and rock scrambling you could choose to do. Good elevation gain but plenty of time to get there.

This is my favorite hike!

if you stairs you'll love this one

My daughters and I hiked this trail and it was breath taking! The way up can be a bit of a challenge if you aren’t used to the elevation but back down only took us 20 minutes. I can’t recommend this trail highly enough! You’ll love it!

Really gorgeous trail! Easy-moderate rating from me except for the last little bit before the third lake. It seems straight up and I had to stop several times to catch my breath.

There isn’t a lot of parking at the lot or the trail head it’s self. We arrived right before 8 am on a Thursday and there were two spots left that filled before we finished getting our stuff out of the car.

Super dog friendly but after the first 1/2 mile or so it’s very exposed and there isn’t a ton of water until you get to the first lake. We were fine getting there early in the AM but I could imagine it being really hot in the afternoon.

Tons of wild flowers out now and lots of spots to stop for pictures and get some sweeping views.

This hike has a steady incline but nothing drastic. It is exposed in several parts, so start early and bring the sunscreen. The views at the top are just amazing!

Exceeded my expectations. Gorgeous hike. Beautiful falls.

hiking
4 days ago

7/11/18
Really nice hike with great views over Estes Park and RMNP. Nice well marked trail, mostly shaded and plenty of rocks to climb. The lake is pretty small, but it’s in a cool canyon which was a good place for us to have lunch. Recommend.

hiking
5 days ago

Fun little hike to get a great view of the lake and the surrounding Rockies.

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