Gem Lake Trail

MODERATE 1,008 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

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

2 days ago

Not a difficult trail but a beautiful end point!

3 days ago

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

hiking
3 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.

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
5 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.

5 days ago

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!!!

9 days ago

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

10 days ago

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

hiking
10 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.

hiking
11 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
13 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!

hiking
14 days ago

It was a little difficult at the top but the views were worth it! It was busy, lots of people on the trails

hiking
15 days ago

My wife and I did this and it really is a leg burner but the reward was a peaceful pond surrounded by rock walls. BEAUTIFUL! So worth the exercise.

hiking
16 days ago

Not difficult hike, “lake” at top is small. If you can climb up the rocks behind it, you get a good view.

16 days ago

Beautiful views! Not necessary to go all the way to Gem Lake, it's more like a pond.

hiking
17 days ago

cool views across the valley to the bigger mountians like longs. this is a great warm up hike as it's lower elevation and quite moderate. we started at ~8:30am and the trail wasn't too crowded. on the way back there were tons of people. the "lake" is more of a pond but still cool with fun rock formations all over the place.

18 days ago

Great hike the “lake” is small but beautiful and the views of Estes Park and twin Sisters Peaks were great. There were also many interesting rock formations.

22 days ago

(Hiked trail in October 2017) This was such a fun and challenging trail near the end. Lots of steps, very good workout. The lake up top was beautiful.

23 days ago

last few minutes were intense. had very beautiful views. very hot at some points. we went on a Tuesday and wasn't overly crowded. the lake is beautiful

hiking
26 days ago

Great trail and beautiful lake at the top!

28 days ago

Our first hike in Colorado. We were hooked and hungry for more. We’ll do it again and go on to Bridal Falls next time.

28 days ago

My children loved this hike. They were up and down every rock. The lake was beautiful. Chipmunks at the top come into your lap. We don't feed wildlife, but the kids were in chipmunk heaven! I Would not give this a hard rating, it is more of a moderate trail, in my opinion.

hiking
28 days ago

This was my first hike in CO! It’s down the street from my aunts house here so it was the most accesible after a long trip up here from Austin. I loved it! The elevation did not effect me at all and there were a few little detours that are just beautiful. Don’t expect much from the lake though, its man made and pretty underwhelming.

29 days ago

Just did this trail tonight. From about 6-8pm. We flew into Denver this morning and were pretty tired but want to make best use of our time here. We’ve never been to CO but enjoy hiking and was told by a lady at the visitors center this would be doable. We’re fit, 30 years old, but hadn’t hiked here before. We didn’t know the elevation was going to effect us and within 2 mins we both had headaches. Don’t go fast if you’re new to the elevation, even if you think you’re pretty fit and in shape.
This took us an hour and 7 mins to get to gem lake and we nearly ran down and took some shortcuts in 40 minutes.
Overall, it Was a good first hike especially to test out our abilities in this elevation. We enjoyed it but keep in mind that there isn’t a big “wow! This was worth it!” when you get to Gem Lake. We like the “wow” and this doesn’t have it imo. Still pretty though. And We climbed almost 1000’ though in an hour so I consider that a win.
Was nice doing it in the evening because we saw maybe 10 people total the entire time so mostly had the trail to ourselves. Parking lot was nearly empty. I’d recommend doing this in the evening rather than waking up early for it.

hiking
29 days ago

Compared to other lakes in RMNP and CO; unexciting, bland, and overcrowded. I’ve hiked quite a few trails and I’d highly recommend skipping this one.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike, albeit quick and easy.

1 month ago

Lots of steps at the top of this climb, but I really enjoyed it. I’m not in great shape, but was able to complete the climb without too much trouble. I felt pretty proud when I completed the climb, as it was a nearly 1000 ft increase in elevation.There is a bathroom towards the top of the trail, which was a nice convenience.

1 month ago

challenging, at some points you're going up steps that are 1-2ft high. but the view is 100% worth it, and the lake is beautiful. don't go in it, tho, there are leeches!

1 month ago

Good, fairly easy hike. Bring plenty of water. Weather changes quickly. Very pretty views of the valley.

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