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

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hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful trail, outside of RMNP gates. First visit 1/13/19 - snow on most of the trail, well packed and well traveled. Sunny skies and warm rocks to relax on. I left my snowshoes in the car - a few slippery spots where crampons would be helpful but not bad. Lake frozen solid. Well maintained trail allowed for trail running on the way down.

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike with beautiful views along the way. Steady increase the entire way up. There were all ages and levels of experience doing this hike. As others have mentioned, a few slick spots but I was able to get up and down easily without microspikes.

hiking
3 days ago

We were there on 1/9. The trail had some slick spots but we were able to conquer it without microspikes and they probably aren’t needed since most of the trail was dry. The lake was frozen over and absolutely beautiful. Due to the government shut down, the garbage cans at the trailhead had a bag taped over them. The bathrooms were also closed. There is an outhouse near the top, be sure to bring some toilet paper with you!

Beautiful!

nice hike, mostly dry on 1/6.

hiking
10 days ago

This is currently open but the parking lot bathrooms are closed due to the government shutdown. There is an outhouse 3/4's the way up. It's uphill the entire way to the lake, there were all ages and abilities making it to the top. Most of the trail was dry/dirt but there were sections that had snow and crampons/spikes were not needed up or the way down. Made it the top in an hour.

I was able to jog this up and down in just running shoes with a little caution. It’s gorgeous in the winter! Make sure to go the extra couple hundred feet to sprouting rock.

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful hike. Went this morning 12/30/18 and it was perfect. A couple ice patches towards the top (I just wore hiking boots no spikes or snowshoes) and stronger winds but totally worth it!!

hiking
16 days ago

Packed snow the last half mile. If I brought my spikes, I'd would have put them on, although most people go without traction and are fine. Lots of people on the trail.

hiking
17 days ago

Hiked it during snowfall which was beautiful. Got to walk on the lake as it was frozen solid

Best hike ever!

hiking
17 days ago

Nice and strenuous hike. Uphill all the way to a frozen lake on 12/29. We (me, my wife and kids 12 and 6) started around noon. There were a lot of people hiking. I expected much less considering it was winter. Some areas had snow and were icy but it was a breeze with good snow boots with traction device attached. Expect strong winds throughout and maybe an elk sighting. We were lucky to see one.

hiking
17 days ago

Snow and Ice patches towards the top - use caution. Great hike, many gorgeous views along the way. Parking was available around 1:30 PM on a Friday. Somewhat strenuous - it's all uphill to the lake.

One of our favorite "short" hikes. You are rewarded with the opportunity to scramble on some rock formations above the lake.

This has to be one of the best hikes in Colorado. The trail head is easy to access and the trail is short but steep w/ some scrambling. I did see children on the hike so that trail is family-friendly but the steep, sharp rocks would not be ideal for dogs. I completed this hike in about 3 hours in the summer so it was fairly hot - wear proper shoes and bring lots of water. The views are definitely worth the steep climb!

hiking
20 days ago

One the best hikes ever for our family (completed on 12/26). Totally worth every single step to a winter wonderland. Hiked with my wife and kids 12 and 6. We took plenty of stops for the kids on the way up. Some areas were icy and steep. Strongly recommend good quality snow boots with traction devices attached to them. We got ours from Summit Canyon Mountaineering in Glenwood Springs. They were worth every penny we paid.

hiking
20 days ago

You can’t say you’ve hiked in Colorado without hiking this trail. One of my all time favorites!!

hiking
20 days ago

My favorite part of this hike was seeing the views of Estes Park. Because my husband and I did on Christmas Day, we had the chance to walk on Gem Lake! (It was frozen).

hiking
20 days ago

First real hike for me and my wife (both age 27) and we loved it. Completed it on Christmas Day 2018. The clouds were kind and let us catch great views of Longs Peak and co. Gem Lake itself was frozen solid so it made for a cool experience to carefully walk over it.

Huge coniferous trees and rushing mountain brooks made this trail gorgeous all the way through. My favorite part of visiting Glenwood Springs, hands down! My mother had a bit of a hard time "going straight up", but even she said it was worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 12/7. This is a challenging uphill trail. We are experienced hikers from Boulder and we’re still out of breath! Must use spikes or some kind. You would not be able to use snowshoes. Totally worth the effort - we had the lake all to ourselves and it is just as gorgeous, probably more so, than the photos show. Recommend continuing up to spouting rock after visiting the lake - it’s about a 2 minute walk up to a beautiful waterfall. One thing that doesn’t get mentioned often about this trail is the canyon - it’s stunning, especially in the snow. This hike is definitely worth the hype!

Awesome hike!

My husband and I did this hike yesterday afternoon. We were surprised to see only two other cars at the trailhead when we arrived a around 12:30pm. We saw two hikers on the way to the lake and then had lake/waterfall to ourselves. I thought for sure it would be crowded and was happy to be wrong. The trail was snow packed. Visually, it looked like a winter-wonderland. The trees were lightly dusted in snow. We both had our yaktraks on and I was thankful for them multiple times throughout the hike. Definitely some slippery spots, especially on the way back down.

Love this hike! Did it in 1.5 hours with crampons - highly suggest them! There were a couple people with just boots who made it, but it looked difficult. Had the lake to ourselves :)

Great Hike. It’s worth the climb to the top. Be careful there are some slick spots. We did this as a family. 15 & 13 yr olds handled it well.

hiking
1 month ago

Crampons // spikes are a must. They will allow you to actually enjoy it. After the bottom part it’s mostly pure ice and snow. The lake looks super unique with all the icicles hanging down where the water flows.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice Thanksgiving Day hike! As others have said, parts are icy and snowy particularly the last third or so. Since we didn’t have poles or yaktrax, we just had to slow down. Great views of Estes!

1 month ago

Nice, well maintained trail very close to Estes Park. Nov 20 there were many slick icy spots, but nothing too treacherous. After the single water crossing (frozen), the steps get steeper, but not terrible. Gem Lake itself is unimpressive, but turn around to get a great view of Estes Park and the scenery beyond. Worth the hike!

Beautiful hike, and worth the climb!

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