Hiking Project Logo

Gem Lake Trail

 16 votes

Length

4.6 Miles 7.4 Kilometers


Elevation

1,239' 378 m

Ascent

-933' -284 m

Descent

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

81%

Max Grade (39°)

8,839' 2,694 m

High

7,768' 2,368 m

Low

Conditions


All Clear 12 days ago
Dry History

Getting forecast...

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

Brian Smith

Overview

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.
Dogs: No Dogs

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

You & this Trail


Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Get On-Trail Navigation

Send to Phone
Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Apr 14, 2018
Genevieve Labadie
Only hiked to Gem Lake and back. Steps are very tough on knees. Gorgeous weather, no snow/mud. — 3h 00m
Mar 31, 2018
Mike G
Mar 27, 2018
Mike G
Feb 6, 2018
Rob Laucius
Jan 8, 2018
Phillip Jahr
Beautiful ascent.
Oct 21, 2017
Austin Dix
Hiked with Jake and Sandi. Cold and windy.
Oct 3, 2017
Lindsey Hafitz
Sep 21, 2017
Brenda Cassidy
Enjoyable! I stopped a lot ali g the way to take lots of pics and spent about 30 min at the lake taking it all in. 4.5mi — 4h 00m

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 16 votes

#2

in Estes Park

#3499

Overall
  4.1 from 16 votes
5 Star
31%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
19%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#2

in Estes Park

#264

in Colorado

#3,499

Overall
172 Views Last Month
2,442 Since Jan 8, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

0%
6%
71%
24%
0%
0%

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking