Hiking Project Logo

Gem Lake Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.3 (35)

A steep trail that climbs to Gem Lake before descending to Cow Creek Trail.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

4.6

Miles

7.4

KM

Point to Point

8,839' 2,694 m

High

7,768' 2,368 m

Low

1,239' 378 m

Up

933' 284 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

81%

Max Grade (39°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Kids love climbing on rocks. The trail to Gem Lake is a rocky paradise lined by boulders that are perfectly arranged for climbing.

Description

Gem Lake is a popular trail that originates at the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead. From the parking lot, follow the trail as it ascends through rugged rock outcroppings and take in the sweeping views of Estes Park and the surrounding mountains. After just under two miles, you'll emerge at Gem Lake. This is a great place to take a breather before turning around or continuing to Balanced Rock Trail and/or Cow Creek Trail.

Descending from Gem Lake, you'll encounter the Balanced Rock Trail at mile three which branches off to the left. Follow it for views of a unique rock formation and to tack on a couple extra miles to your hike if you like.

Continuing on Gem Lake Trail, you'll descend for the next mile or so into the Cow Creek drainage before crossing the river and climbing up to Cow Creek Trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Smith

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 35 votes

#2

in Estes Park

#84

Overall
  4.3 from 35 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
49%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#2

in Estes Park

#25

in Colorado

#84

Overall
721 Views Last Month
11,704 Since Jan 8, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
63%
3%
33%
0%

Photos

Looking south across Gem Lake on a calm spring morning
Jul 9, 2018 near Estes Park, CO
On the trail to Gem Lake with permission from dreamer 200
Jan 8, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
The view hiking down from gem lake
Sep 12, 2018 near Estes Park, CO
Gem Lake
Dec 8, 2017 near Estes Park, CO
Yet Another RMNP Panorama
Dec 7, 2017 near Estes Park, CO
Estes Park / Rocky Mountain National Park
Dec 8, 2017 near Estes Park, CO

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Bad / Closed 16 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Aug 3, 2020
Ahna Abraham
Only went to Gem Lake
Jul 29, 2020
James Heil
3.6mi — 3h 20m
Jul 24, 2020
Dani Gauch
A bit cloudy, but still a beautiful day with wonderful views
Jun 8, 2020
Reagan Morgart
Oct 11, 2019
Mike Sanders
Oct 4, 2019
Anna Dinger
Oct 4, 2019
Christopher Johnson
Sep 21, 2019
Lorelí C.J.