Gem Lake Trail

MODERATE 932 reviews

Gem Lake Trail is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Glen Haven, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and nature trips and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
3.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
990 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

no dogs

Gem Lake is a great little hike with some awesome views of Estes Park. The hike starts just outside of Estes up Devils Gulch Road. Turn on to Lumpy Ridge Road and park in the lot. $10 Parking Fee. Can sometimes be windy, dogs are not allowed.

2 days ago

2 days ago

4 days ago

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!!

5 days ago

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.

7 days ago

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

11 days ago

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

hiking
12 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.

13 days ago

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.

13 days ago

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
14 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.

15 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
17 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.

18 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
21 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.

24 days ago

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

hiking
24 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
26 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
26 days ago

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

hiking
28 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.

28 days ago

If you like stairs you’ll love this hike, with that we flew down this thing on the way back. My phone read that this one was 66 flights total. A lot of sun on this hike when you start getting closer to the top. The lake isn’t as rewarding as some of the big ones, but it’s still beautiful. I’d do this one again for the workout not so much the destination.

hiking
28 days ago

Four stars only because we had to pick leeches off the kids’ feet after they ate lunch with them dangling in the lake. We found a “natural ac” spot coming from a little cave entrance around a bend about half way up- nice place to cool off. We got there around 11a and found a few parking spots open. The rangers are super friendly, we saw them on the way up and down. One took a family photo for us

hiking
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

Great hike but can get a bit crowded

hiking
1 month 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!

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

if you like stairs you'll love this one

hiking
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

Fun trail! Really enjoyed the climb and seeing the various rock formations. Not too many wildflowers to be found. heavy trail traffic on the Saturday afternoon but that is to be expected on a gorgeous weekend day in the area. My bro and I climbed up the huge rock formation at the lake to capture the amazing view. Had a solid trail run flying down

1 month ago

7/7/18

great hike! The last little bit before reaching the lake is a little rough. we did this with a 3, 5, 7, and 9 year old. The 3 year old need a little help up the last few steps.

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