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1 day ago

Not dog friendly, wanted to hike it but was under the impression dogs were allowed. Once we got there and wanted hike there was a big sign that said NO DOGS ALLOWED. Least to say we didn't get to hike. what a big disappointment. Please, update your information.

Thanks,
Misty Neal

As others have said, very tough parking depending on that day you attempt your hike. Also, you are very exposed so don't get stuck too far out if any storms are in the area. At 2 miles out, it gets pretty steep and really rocky. That might be the point to stop with kids. Stunning views.

I don’t know why the app says this trail is easy. It’s moderate-hard and the end is very steep. A beginner can do it, but still.
Great views though. I would do it again.

Great hike. Decently steep towards the top before the lake but gem lake is beautiful. Went further to balanced rock which was an 8 mile round trip and had some good views along the way. Would hike again!!

Right off road to alpine visitor center, parking can be tough.

Saw elk across the way at the start. Saw numerous marmots.

Views were great from the get-go. Just different being in the tundra. If you go to RMNP then do one tundra hike, this may be true easiest trail option. . Don't even have to do the whole trail, as the views might be the best in the beginning.

Part of the RMNP but start outside of park. Started at donut shop on the way to trail. Great donuts but made hiking a little tougher.

This hike is different than being in the RMNP, the rocks-boulder different shapes and sizes. Made for numerous little caves, which the 2 and 5 year old loved.

On the way up, get some good views of Estes park.

There is a actual toilet near the top. My 5 yr old loved this!!

Lake is very ok. Also leaches in the lake, so don't get all the way in. But plenty of exploring and climbing near the lake for the kids.

Did this hike with wife and kids (2 and 5). 5 yr old hiked off and on.

At over 12,000 feet not everyone would consider the uphill part of the trail easy. The views are spectacular. Of course there are too many people.

Was a pretty good workout for this Nebraska boy, but enjoyed the views and the little rain shower. Recommend the hike overall!

is a hard trail, and the lake is not to awesome like the Snow Lake, is to long way!!

hiking
14 days ago

Steep climb for a nice, but not spectacular, lake. I am glad I did it but do not need to do it again.

This hike was pretty beautiful. The hike is all uphill until you get to the lake. The hike is Rocky and has lose rocks, so good grippy shoes would be ideal for the hike back. Hike has many many stairs but doable, many kids on this trail. At the lake there are Chipmunks that will crawl on you for food ❤. There are bathrooms at the trail head and a toilet way up in the mountain almost getting to the lake. No parking fee.

I had a good hike...it was pretty steep at the end so take it slow getting to the lake past the boot rock. The view (back) out at the lake is nice but the lake itself is kind of small. Enjoyed it overall!

hiking
16 days ago

Only 3 miles but still challenging. Elevated approximately 950 ft and it’s basically a stair stepper the whole way. We definitely felt like we accomplished a difficult hike. Probably because we are not the most fit persons around. The lake is small but nice. Lots of places to picnic or even dip your toes at the beach.

17 days ago

Lake disappointing as it is small. Got caught in a rain storm without rain gear so that was fun hiding under big boulders until we decided we would just make s run for it. Gem of a day though, with my honey!

We did the trail from Trail Ridge to Beaver Meadows trail head, 6.5 miles, taking the descent down. The descent was very steep and rocky, fell twice but not injured. Not for kids...

hiking
19 days ago

A bit tougher than we were lead to believe! Those stairs at the end are tiring! Beautiful views all the way up, though. Sitting at the lake at the end was lovely.

Favorite alpine hike so far offering fantastic vistas. We stopped before the descent choosing instead to watch the elk and explore the point just to the south of the trail decent. Parking is indeed a problem but a few small pull-out areas just below on Route 34 were clear. Be prepared for wind with a light fleece and windbreaker with another layer available just in case the temps drop suddenly. The weather up there is always in flux up there.

on Gem Lake Trail

20 days ago

Aside form the crowd and a few loudmouths on the trial, it was wonderful. These batholith hills have lots of surprises, with super views of Estes Park and RMNP, wild flowers and wide range of vegetation. We returned via the Two Owls loop. Highly recommend the extra half mile, with very few hikers. Having a walking stick was much appreciated on sections with high steep steps. .

hiking
20 days ago

Nice jaunt to a high elevation view of the top of Trail Ridge Road and 360 degree view of the Rockies. Lots of cool tundra plants and flowers. Do the little rock scramble at the end to the actual memorial. See how many mountains you can pick out.

hiking
23 days ago

Doesn’t look very appealing from the beginning of the trail but we are so glad we stopped to hike this one. Very cool trail with mushroom rocks and a couple lookouts at the top of the trail. I thought the wild flowers everywhere were awesome. Climb up on the rocks for very cool views in all directions. Took us about 45 min from start to finish with about 15 min to check out the views from the top. Hiked July 11. One of the better trails we stopped at on trail ridge road.

hiking
24 days ago

Gem Lake trail is well maintained with some good views. My family and I were looking for a short hike to kill some time so we chose this one. That was all it was good for in our opinion. The views of Estes Park and surrounding peaks were pretty but the lake was more pond like...not anything spectacular.

Very enjoyable. Great break in a long car ride. Breathtaking scenery. The trail itself was an easy walk. Not a place to stop if you are looking for solitude, but if you like meeting people it’s amazing. Every time we were trying to take pictures someone would offer to help so we could get nice shots of all of us.

This hike was AHMAZING! Would highly recommend getting to the hike early. It is a heavily trafficked trail.

hiking
27 days ago

If you aren’t from the area (like myself) be mindful of the elevation. It’s a steep hike, but I saw young children and older adults complete this hike. Know the most challenging Park was right before the lake. Also bring at least a couple of waters and a good snack for the top :)

hiking
28 days ago

Holy cow, that was a HIKE! I was warned this trail was more than a "moderate" hike, so in my mind I was ready. The rest of my body didn't get the memo.

Helpful hints:
-- arrive early. Parking lot was full by 9:30 a.m.
-- use a walking stick
-- start slow, finish strong
-- stop and smell the wild roses
-- carry two bottles of water
-- pack a lunch (and carry out your trash, please)
-- make sure your batteries for cellphone or camera are fully charged

I will make this hike again.

hiking
29 days ago

Awesome hike with great views throughout. Definitely a leg burner though, so be prepared to get a good workout in!

Outstanding hike.You can do this in about 4 mile round trip and 700' elevation change. The hike is much more difficult than advertised due to high elevation and high wind speeds. The return hike up hill in 40-50 MPH winds is tough! That said totally worth it! Fantastic views all around plus no crowds! To view the RMNP valley area you do need to go all the way to where the trail starts decent down (2 miles out)

hiking
30 days ago

Get ready for a leg burner. Lots of stairs to climb up to the top. The lake was super busy which I thought odd for a Thursday mid-day hike. Take the Lumpy Ridge trail on the way down. Good scenery and less stairs. Lots of sun so come prepared.

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