Summary: This spectacular hike starts out on Gem Lake Trail traversing across some sparsely wooded areas heading towards Lumpy ridge. After about a half mile, the trail begins to gain elevation and the views of Estes Park and the surrounding mountains behind you get progressively more breathtaking. At the three quarter mile mark you need to bear right at a trail junction. The woods become more dense and the rock formations more amazing.
Gem Lake is actually a bowl carved out of the granite and filled with rain water. The setting, with vast views and shear cliffs, make this lake truly a gem. Those with a more adverursome spirit can scramble carefully up to rocks on the back side of the lake, to gain access to the top of the cliffs. The views can't be beat. I enjoyed this hike immensely.
Trailhead: From highway 34 in Estes Park, follow MacGregor Avenue North for about a mile, then turn right onto Devils Gulch Road at the entrance to Mac Gregor Ranch. Follow Devils Gulch Road for about another mile, keeping an eye out for the Gem Lake trailhead parking on the left side of the road. (Lat:40.39429 Lon:-105.507)
Trail Guides for Gem Lake:
RMNP - Best Easy Day Hikes
by Kent Dannen and Donna Dannen (Globe Pequot Press)
RMNP - Panoramic Hiking Map
by Unknown (Trail Tracks)
Best Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
User Groups: Hikers, Horses
Ranger Contact: RMNP Information (970) 586-1206
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jim Zuber, who has posted 104 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 4 Submit your own review
Reviewed by fb on 1/19/2013
I'm giving this hike 5 stars because dogs are not allowed on it. Made it a very enjoyable hike for all of us with no obnoxious barking and scaring away the wildlife.
Reviewed by Jorena on 6/15/2012
This hike quickly became our family's favorite when our kids were young and we decided to make it our annual Father's Day hike. Our kids were able to hike it on their own when they were pretty young - I'm thinking at about 5 years old. There are rocks that look like giant pancakes and our favorite is Paul Bunyan's boot which we always had to take a picture with. When you get to the lake, it's a refreshing and charming area to eat your lunch and climb around on the rocks a bit. Excellent hike for kids.
Reviewed by RC on 4/2/2012
Saw no dogs on this hike, but there were dogs in the Park on this weekend. Seems the rules don't apply to some. Very pleasant, not too crowded.
Reviewed by SR on 3/11/2012
I'm giving this trail a 1 star because dogs are not allowed!!! I have no interest in hiking without my dog and it saddens me to see trails in the WILDERNESS where dogs are not allowed. My dog is always on a leash and I always pick up after her.
Reviewed by laura age 10 on 8/16/2011
i loved this hike
Reviewed by Gary on 7/6/2011
Have not visited this Gem in the mountains..Several years ago I bought a painting at a garage sale for .50 cents..It is a painting of Gem Lake from 1935..Artist was M.E.Wakelee..It looks to be a beautiful place..
Reviewed by wayne on 8/7/2010
Nice hike to get your week started in prep. for harder hikes. Although they are not allowed, there were 4 dogs on the hike. Watch your step.
Reviewed by Viewer on 7/18/2010
FYI- DOGS are NOT ALLOWED ON THIS HIKE!!!!!!!!!!
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Colorado Hiking, Colorado Trails, Colorado Hikes, Larimer County Hiking, Larimer County Trails, Larimer County Hikes