Gem Lake Trail

MODERATE 809 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

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.

hiking
1 day ago

I did this hike 6/18 and started around 7 a.m. The trail wasn't crowded at all at that time. The lake was beautiful. We extended our hike to Balanced Rock. When we came back, there were tons of people on the Gem Lake Trail. We took the longer way back via Twin Owls. That was a really cool route with much different views. Overall, all of these trails were very good.

hiking
7 days ago

Did this hike on Saturday June 9, 2018. The hike was harder than I expected. It’s pretty steep and basically all uphill the whole time so if you’re looking for an easy hike, I wouldn’t consider this one. The lake is a small one (more like a pond) but it’s pretty and nice to sit by once you get to the top! Lots of shade to cool off under.

9 days ago

Good hike, pretty steep the entire time. There are better hikes in the park though.

hiking
9 days ago

This hike might be moderate for some and hard for others. It is definitely very steep rock etc but has a well maintained trail. I have a Walking group of women in there middle fifties to 60 years old. We all made it but it was most definitely not moderate for us. If you’re in your twenties, thirties and into your 49’s and you workout regularly then this will be easy for you. The reward at the top is well worth the effort. Get there early because when we got down it was full and people were parked way down on road by entrance.

hiking
9 days ago

It was an easy trail and the "lake" at the end is more of a pond. If you scale the rock formation right beside the lake you can get a great 360° view of the area.

hiking
10 days ago

Little harder than expected. Pretty lake with lots of views on the way up!

hiking
10 days ago

This is a much tougher hike than expected. It felt like we were going straight up the mountain. But, the views of Estes Park along the way are very cool. The final payoff- Gem Lake and the climbing cliffs are worth it. This is no easy stroll though.

hiking
12 days ago

This was a challenging but very rewarding hike. At the end, my dad and I climbed the cliff at the end and played with the chipmunks on the beach to the left. Very hard, very fun.

hiking
14 days ago

Loved this trail! So many great views and all the chipmunks at the top we’re adorable. My only critique would be that “gem lake” is definitely more of a pond.

14 days ago

Love this trail always make my first of the season!

15 days ago

Beautiful views, well maintained trail, challenging hike (very good workout). I wouldn't personally call this a "lake"... more like a pond, but still well worth the hike for the beauty of it all!

16 days ago

Great quick hike with nice scenery the entire way. Was crowded the Sunday morning we went. But that is to be expected this time of year. The way up is a steady climb, but not too strenuous.

hiking
18 days ago

Pretty hike, no super steep or long. Not my favorite lake hike in the park, but it would be good for someone who is not acclimated or not a huge hiker.

18 days ago

Steep short hike, great views the whole way.

hiking
19 days ago

We come to Estes from Kansas City every few years. Gem Lake is such a great family hike to get acclimated for larger hikes later on in the week. The trail provides amazing views of RMNP! Definitely take some time out of your stay to come to this hidden “gem”...see what I did there?

hiking
21 days ago

It was a GREAT hike - challenging, but fun! Gorgeous views throughout the hike.

21 days ago

The views along the way, and from the lake on top are gorgeous!

22 days ago

We hiked the trail on 5/25. Beautiful hike, steady incline, perfect length for a short hike. Beautiful views of Estes Park throughout the whole hike. We didn’t have to pay for parking and the trail had no snow. Would definitely do it again!

hiking
23 days ago

Incline all the way to the lake. Easy to stay on trail.

24 days ago

Tough if you’re not used to the altitude but definitely worth it.

hiking
24 days ago

Moderately strenuous elevation gain. Be sure to look behind you as you ascend for the grand Rocky views. The lake itself is small and a relaxing place to picnic. Very friendly chipmunks..obviously have been fed by lots of humans. :(

26 days ago

A bit exhausting, but worth it. Say hi to the frogs!

26 days ago

Moderate intensity hike with great payoff at the top. The last half mile is a real butt burner but worth it for the view. Tip: don’t stop at the lake but go around and scramble up the boulders. The climbing is easy on those rocks and the view is even better.

29 days ago

Steep but only 3 miles round trip. Great hike, beautiful view at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Just got back from this hike. It was fairly busy but gorgeous! Steep steps that were kind of hard on my short legs but it wasn’t too bad. Beautiful little lake at the top! And chipmunks everywhere!

hiking
1 month ago

I loved this trail! So clean and the views are amazing! We went in the morning around 8:30 and there was barely anyone on the trail the whole way up, but on the way down we ran into a lot more hikers. The lake is so peaceful and there are lots of places to explore at the top. Even though it is considered in Rocky Mountain National Park, you don’t need a pass. Large parking lot and bathroom at the base, as well as a toilet towards the top of the hike which I thought was a little strange, but maybe convenient for some.

1 month ago

Cliff the chipmunk is awesome

1 month ago

Gorgeous hike. Amazing views all over. Gem Lake was a little smaller than I expected, but beautiful and very friendly chipmunks (DO NOT FEED THEM)! Last bit was steep, but doable!

hiking
1 month ago

Wow. We did this trail on a rainy day, the rain turned into snow as we hiked and it was the most beautiful hike imaginable. Very clear path, and a couple detours you can take with stunning views. Goes higher than we were expecting - the last 15/20 minutes are just straight up but as others have said definitely worth it. The lake was stunning, very few people - likely because of the weather.

No $10 parking fee that we could find on May 2nd, took us about two and a half hours including stopping for photos. Truly a magical hike.

1 month ago

It was SO beautiful! Every time you stopped to take a little break, the view took your breath away!

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