Explore Summer 2014 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Summer 2014 Map
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Beautiful hike. Get there early, it gets crowded quickly.

Amazing hike with 11 and 13 year old kids. Crowded at Alberta Falls; but the crowds really drop off after that. The Loch is GORGEOUS, but don’t stop the the edge. Walk all the way around to get the views. We saw two sets of elk swimming in the lake. Would have loved to go all the way to Timberlake Falls or Sky Pond, but my family wasn’t having it.

camping
3 days ago

We hiked this trail on the way to Andrews Creek campsite and it was awesome. We caught some nice sized rainbow trout that we cooked up for dinner. You need a permit if you are staying overnight and the campsites are by reservation only.

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!!

off road driving
6 days ago

I did it with stock new Silverado. it was brutal for this kind of car, though it has 4x4 low and all that crap, this trail is not for stock SUV like KIA sportage or so, because it is really rocky and you dont enjoy the drive.
I would recommend a jeep or something like Expedition for this.

other than that, lake is nice and all, but not breathtaking.

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.

Tough trail for someone who is not used to hiking but worth the view at the end!

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

Loved! Hiked up past Alberta Falls, which is where the trail gets more difficult. Definitely doable, though, and not busy at all on a Friday. Absolutely beautiful.

hiking
12 days ago

Hiked it on 08/01/18. Beautiful trail with great views. I recommend it

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

One of my favorite lakes in RMNP. Relatively easy to get up to and stunning once there.

hiking
13 days ago

Very busy for first 1/2 of trail. But, no where near as busy as the Bear Lake area. Plenty of scenery with river next to trail. Loch Lake is very beautiful. Strongly recommend you don’t stop at Loch and plan to go all the way up to Sky Pond.

hiking
13 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
15 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.

Well maintained trail, beautiful scenery!

16 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!

hiking
16 days ago

Did this hike on the way to Sky Pond. A really nice stopping point at halfway to sky pond. The lake is beautiful, the fish are awesome looking and the water is so clean and clear. I believe it was around 2.6 miles to the Lake. Go to the north end for bigger views of the lake.

hiking
18 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.

on Gem Lake Trail

19 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. .

Beautiful views!

hiking
23 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.

Loved this hike! Moderate elevation gain with lots of waterfalls, wildlife and wildflowers along the way. Breathtaking scenery and views once you arrive at The Loch. It was about 6.5 miles which included some wandering around the lake itself and took us 4 hours because of all the stops for pictures!

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

hiking
26 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 :)

I will definitely be returning to Loch Lake. I took the Bear Lake trailhead and exited at the Glacier Gorge trailhead. So many streams of running water and tons of shade along the path. Loch Lake was the most private lake destination along the way. Bear, Nymph, Dream and Emerald were packed so it was nice to get away from all of the people and get to enjoy the serenity of being by the water. Truly breathtaking. Highly recommend this.

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