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Great hike. We did it with a toddler in the carrier. Definitely a workout but doable. Beautiful up top but high winds!

Great views. Good trail to acclimate to altitude gradually.

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful scenery, be ready for kinda steep hiking. I’m from Houston, Texas and had to take some breathers going up hill but that was only for part of the hike. The rest was a price of cake and enjoyable. Just take your time. :)

We did this hike on a Saturday about a week and a half ago. We got to the trailhead around 8:10am and there were plenty of parking spots still, but by the time we left (around 12 or so) there weren't any spots. There is no other place to park other than the pull off parallel spots on the side of the road near the trailhead since the areas surrounding this trail are private property, so I would recommend getting there early. My app said the trail was 6.71mi total, and it took us a little over 2.5 hours. There isn't too much uphill, so it's a nice and pleasant hike. We did see fresh looking bear poop on the trail, but didn't run into any issues. As many of the reviews below mention, once you get to the waterfall you can go over to the left side of it and easily climb up to the top. Well worth it as the views are beautiful, although I am a little biased because my fiancée proposed to me up there!

good hike maybe 12 parking spots, so get there early. The hike is mostly meadow until last 3/4 mile were you enter the woods the last 1000 feet is a scrambling between rocks. to get to the top, there is a small trail to the left. going up not bad coming down a little is little bit scary but worth it.

great hike, a little challenging for a novice hiker. the views cant be beat. im put of shape, and i got up to the peak in about 2 hours.

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

Good hike and the views at top are well worth the effort. our first in RMNP and looking forward already to a few more this week.

3 days ago

Not a difficult trail but a beautiful end point!

Beautiful day, Makes a great couples hike.

We loved this trail! Although the bottom sections are pretty easy, the views are good, and just get better as you rise. It has a nice variety along the trail, and the top is just breathtaking.

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

hiking
4 days ago

very unique trail after you get about halfway up! would definitely go on this trail again

hiking
4 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.

Great payoff for the miles and gain, would do again!

hiking
5 days ago

Excellent alternative to Bridal Veil Falls. Trail really got chewed up after Sept 2013 floods, but very passable (the reason for 4 instead of 5 stars). Highly suggest hiking sticks.

West Creek and the Falls were very lively. A lot of cutthroat trout in many of the pools.

We saw only 4 couples the entire time. This is a great close-in trail for those seeking great views, a workout and few people.

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

The trail was well marked in most areas but a few times got a little confusing. I wouldn't really call it a lake, but it's more of a large muddy pond. the hike up was beautiful and there were great places to stop and take pictures and look around. there were lots of very steep steps.

Did this trail on September 7 at a moderate pace with a group of hikers. There are great views of the surrounding mountains at various lookouts along the way. The upper reaches featured beautiful Aspen turning gold for Fall. The top of the mountain provides a great view of Estes Park as well as several mountains. Not too crowded this time of year. Definitely one to repeat in the early Fall.

Lots of stairs at the end that got the best of me, but pretty shaded most of the way, a compost toilet at the top which was very much needed, some decent bouldering opportunities along the way if you’re into that, and once you’re at the top: words can’t describe the tranquil beauty of Gem Lake. Perfect end to a moderately challenging hike. So worth it!!!

hiking
8 days ago

Great views, awesome with the leaves changing colors. I guess the difficulty would be based on how in shape you are, grade is steep and rocky, but it's not that bad.

great hike for acclimating. lots of solitude.

Pretty steep steps at the end! Lots of shade on the trail which is nice.

Absolutely beautiful and worth the sweat and just a lil soreness..(i went in as an amateur lol) but would definitely do it again

on Gem Lake Trail

hiking
11 days ago

Great trail. Lots of fantastic views of Estes, RMNP and Longs Peak. Parking was bad and there was a mass of humanity at the trailhead. The hike up wasn't what I expected at all. The trail is a steady uphill climb the entire way to the 'lake' with a few short sections of more even terrain. I would rate it as moderate to moderate/difficult in places. Towards the end of the trail, footing becomes precarious on large boulder sized steps and can be a bit steep in several sections. Little ones may have a hard time traversing the trail in these spots. I highly suggest wearing good shoes or boots on the way up and switching to water shoes or flip-flops once you reach the 'lake'. The lake is more of a pond. Very beautiful with a lovely mirror effect as it is somewhat sheltered from the wind. Beautiful Dragon Flies and fun Ground Squirrels all over the place. (maybe a little too friendly as they were actually stealing food from folks and jumping on one girl seated on the ground). Be bear aware. There was a Black Bear spotted on the trail earlier in the day. Please pack it in and pack it out while on the trail. We saw a few folks walk off after enjoying their picnics, not bothering to pick-up all of their trash. The leaves are changing! Colorado Gold season! WE DID NOT PAY FOR PARKING. I am not sure why it says there is a $10.00 parking fee, but we saw no such thing.

Simple views with beautiful fern fields/meadows. Would recommend as an hike for a day that you don't want to go up too much "up hill"

hiking
12 days ago

even though i found the lake to be a bit lackluster at the end, the hike itself was beautiful throughout. took ~2.5 hrs. and actually ended up being one of my favorite hikes ever (the leaves started to turn yellow, sooo pretty). this being my kickoff hike makes me really excited to see what the other rmnp trails have in store!!

hiking
14 days ago

Started early, very few people on the trail. Steady incline up but definitely manageable. Beautiful views the entire time and the lake at the top is definitely small but very cute as well. Very much worth the climb. Also, on the way down we followed a group of elk down the trail from a safe distance behind!

Beautiful moderate hike. Arrive early to park easily. There was a bear and her cub spotted while there. Waterfall is beautiful from below. if you can climb to the top of the falls it’s well worth it. Breathtaking view from above.

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