Date. Excellent scenery and great hiking. A little bit easier than I expected it to be. A hike of the Gem Lake trail in Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday, Dec. 12, revealed a winter wonderland. Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. From the trailhead, it is an uphill walk almost the entire way to Gem Lake. A little slippery. Trails below 8,700 feet (2,700 m) offer diverse opportunities to those who wish to travel without the aid of skis or snow shoes. This trailhead is located just north of Estes Park. Not too strenuous! To get here, you will take Devils Gulch Road to Lumpy Ridge Road. What we don’t receive a lot of attention for is our incredible snowmobile trails. It’s a first-time visit to the area for both of us. I recommend hiking boots but you don’t absolutely need them. A pass is needed for accessing any of the trails in the park and dogs are not allowed. Welcome to GEM Sailing, Lake Pepin. All reviews long lake gem lake parking lot down the road rock creek entire hike toms place overflow parking mammoth area amazing hike high country keep in mind lots of water trout mosquitoes pass scenery snow sierras altitude miles feet. View detailed trail descriptions, trail maps, reviews, photos, trail … Gem Lake. Gem Lake is an easily accessible mountain lake situated amongst cool boulders and rock formations. 12/2/2020 Gem Lake Trail was icy in spots, and clear in other spots. I used microspikes for the return, definitely helped with the icy spots. Find out what we carry in our day packs and what we wear on the trails. A little snowpack in spots but no spikes needed. This is a short hike but it is tiring. Trail Ridge Road Summit (44) Grand Lake, CO. The well-marked trail begins on Devils Gulch Road (outside the park boundary) and steeply climbs across a mountainside to Gem Lake. Don't miss out on this gem. I camped just up the hill on the Northeast end of the lake next to a tree with an official camp sign on it. Beautiful views of the Rockies and granite formations. Leave no trace. For great photos of the trail and the mountains, use the panorama feature of your smartphone. My friend Mitch and I are hiking the Gem Lakes Trail in Narrow Hills Provincial Park. Directions can be determined on a GPS device by searching for Lumpy Ridge Road. Gem Lake Trail is a 5.5 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc. Snowmobile Trails Are Open (and a Hidden Gem!) Even a smartphone will do. It will have you stopping to catch your breath occasionally. Are you planning a trip through the United States? An open rock outcrop to the west of the first lake (small) and south of the main lake (largest) provides great views to the west of Mt. ... -There are 273 miles of land trails on the south end of Lake of the Woods alone. Snowy, Icy: Trail is open, and mostly covered with packed snow. We saw kids as young as 5 and 6 at Gem Lake, playing on the rocks. gem lake. Check out the crystal clear water at the beach. Happy travels! The Gem Lake trail is one of the oldest trails in Estes Park. Cheers, Julie, Your email address will not be published. The first part of the path winds through a narrow canyon and past the corner of a historic ranch before starting to climb. The trail to Gem Lake is a rocky paradise lined by boulders that are perfectly arranged for climbing. Read all of our articles about the USA in our United States Travel Guide. Two trails start at this trailhead. We left the Church Creek trail to bag an off trail lake and it turned out to be a real Gem. Both lakes are at an altitude just under 5,800 feet, divided by a saddle at 6,400 feet. Some open gravel on road to trailheads but 80% snow packed. snow lake. The trail heads downhill and you pass a sign telling you not to start any open fires. This is a great place to picnic with the family but be warned, you'll more than likely be joined by some furry little friends. When we did this hike in early July, we did not encounter any mosquitoes, but I have read other trail reports of mosquitoes in the summer months. I recommend to go at 7am and take your time. It’s not because it lacks in beauty; I suspect it’s the steep hike up to the lake. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until October. Hiking poles. A couple of see-fars shy of reaching Gem, I found myself enjoying a light Christmasy dusting of snow that intensified a bit at the lakefront. A little treacherous in parts due to snow and ice - consider spikes over your hiking boots to help with the slippery parts. Click Now to check the details! The trail to the left is the Lumpy Ridge Trail. Earth Trekkers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising & linking to Amazon.com. Starting Elevation: 7,870 feet (Lumpy Ridge Trailhead) About half a mile into the hike the gloves come off halfway, as the trail tackles the steep mountain flank with the help of a few switchbacks. Here you are! The hike to Gem Lake starts at the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead. If you are looking for a short, family-friendly hike, and don’t mind a bit of a stair climb at times, this is a good hike to add to your to-do list. As cute as the little chipmunks around Gem Lake … It’s a first-time visit to the area for both of us. This was my first hiking trail ever and it was absolutely stunning. The parking lot was less than half full so we had no trouble finding a spot. This is one of the easier lake hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Gem Lake trail 554 starts out treacherously easily, meandering at the slightest of inclines beneath a thick canopy of fir. We did a lot of walking around taking pictures so in the end we had a little over 4 miles on my fitbit.. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $15 per person. 1.6 miles. Had every kind of terrain. Get a Rocky Mountain experience close to home and let the kids climb on rocky terrain, hills and pathways. I met at most a baker's dozen fellow hikers on the upswing and the trail wasn't crowded at all. Highest Elevation: 8830 Ft ( Total elevation gain 948 ft) Trail Length: According to the map it is 1.8 miles one way to the lake for a total of 3.6. Happy hiking!! 10/10 would recommend. We made the mistake of hiking out in the afternoon and constantly had to pull off the trail for people coming the opposite direction. 2.5 km N of Hwy 913, near the W boundary of Narrow Hills … The Reversed Peak Loop meanders through high desert sage fields and old-growth forest of Lodgepole Pine, Juniper, and Aspen. Ending Elevation: 8,830 feet (Gem Lake) Next to the trailhead are toilets. Why you should go: A short out-and-back hike with spectacular views of Estes Park and beyond. A woman came and opened it at about 10:30 and off we all went, wood cutters and hikers. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. ), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. (22454170) From the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead north of Estes Park, take the Gem Lake Trail heading right. From the lake, I strolled another 100 feet or so and swung around to the back of the rock and scrambled up above the lake for an excellent view looking down and a nice panorama. The views up to the lake are incredible! LEARN MORE. Required fields are marked *. American Lake Trail, an Aspen Colorado Gem! We started out at a resort in the Wheeler’s Point area and took the trail along the Rainy River 12 miles to Baudette. Can you access both these trail areas without paying NPS fees? The trail head of Gem Lake starts on the left on the road, you will see an area to park right in front or off to the side, just don't block the road. Overall great hike. Trails are snowpacked. Occasionally, the trees will break and you will be treated to wonderful views of Estes Park. The trailhead isn’t too far from Cinnamon’s Bakery and I found the extra boost of sugar helped recovery after the climb. The trail is within Rocky Mountain National Park, but you don’t actually drive into the park to get to this trailhead, so you don’t have to pay the park fee! By continuing to browse this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Runners have the opportunity for another short detour west prior to reaching the lake, on a one-mile trail to a large balancing rock. If you want to go further, you can continue on the trail until you reach Bridalveil Falls and the Twin Owls Loop. Another season, another round of exciting improvements for Big White Ski Resort. Your email address will not be published. The trail is rocky and uneven but hiking shoes are not necessary for this hike. Gem Lake awards you with fantastic views of Mt. Gem Lake - 3.3 Miles Round-Trip Gem Lake is located 1.65 miles from the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead on the northeast side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Blog; Magazine; Sign Up; Site Search. Turn on to Lumpy Ridge Road and park in the lot. The summit trail is steep, rising 1200 feet in 1.5 miles until it reaches the rocky summit at 9455 feet. Save Check-In. If you step on rocks, traction devices aren't necessary. Although the entire trail is only a 5.5 km loop, we’ve chosen to stay overnight because of the stories we’ve heard about the seven kettle lakes at the bottom of a series of winding ridges. The trail has many rocky switchbacks, and it winds through gorgeous aspen, pine, spruce, and fir forests with wildflowers growing on either side. Notes. I agree, this is a great acclimitization hike for RMNP. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. No spikes needed, but be sure to wear good shoes. Are you planning a trip through the United States? Directions from Estes Park: Drive north on MacGregor Avenue. Gem Lake is a short but strenuous hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Steep in some spots but very beautiful and worth it. Not only does it eliminate much of the monotony of Class 1 hiking up a seemingly never-ending and much-used trail by substituting three lakes and some interesting Class 3 climbing, it also cuts about a quarter mile off the trip. What is the parking like at these trail heads? It's 6 miles round trip with 1,300 feet of elevation gain and a 4,400 ft high point. If you have any questions about hiking to Gem Lake, let us know in the comment section below. As cute as the little chipmunks around Gem Lake … In the spring the lake can be frozen over. Opening & closing timings, parking options, restaurants nearby or what to see on your visit to Gem Lake Trail? Little icy in some parts, would recommend microspikes or poles. Your List: Add Check-In. Outhouses and the boat launch will also be open at Kathleen Lake, but the campground is closed. Share on Facebook Big White posted Aug 7, 2019 @ 09:30pm by Dylan McCullough Gem Lake will open earlier than ever next season following trail upgrades Lighter snowfall on the east side of the park leaves low elevation trails open for hiking. Absolutely stunning vistas and crystal clear lake water. Arriving at Gem Lake, there were plenty of open campsites which you can find by following any of the numerous side trails that diverge from the main trail. Water in the lakes only arrives from rainfall from the surrounding hills. Gem Lake will open earlier than ever next season following trail upgrades. A 5.5 km interpretive hiking trail winds around the outer edge of the lakes, along shorelines and climbs to open wooded ridges above the lakes where the vantage points are spectacular. Explore the best trails in Gem Lake, Minnesota on TrailLink. Surrounded by deep forest, this is a quiet hike that gives you the opportunity to contemplate the beauty around you, free of distractions. There are 7 Gem Lakes, that the trail takes you along. Winter Season Open Date: Monday, November 23, 2020. For most of the hike you will be walking through a forest but once at Gem Lake you will be exposed to the sun. I just did this trail last year. Hiking | Gem Lake | Enjoy mountain views, unique rock formations, and an alpine lake on this 3.2-mile, out-and-back hike to Gem Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until October. At Kathleen Lake spikes over your hiking boots but you don ’ t receive a lot of attention the! Monday, November 23, 2020 see on your left after driving 1.2 miles to.! It reaches the Rocky summit at 9455 feet: a short hike: the Lake, 11th! Good shoes deal breaker for me lose the trail to the elevation this you. Seven principles of Leave no Trace up ; Site Search not allowed.… American Lake,... Open earlier than ever next Season following trail upgrades and take your pick from 50 of Ridge! Is needed for accessing any of its contents ( text, photography, etc by.... Water level is low lighter snowfall on the trail gets steeper and through most my... 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First views of Mt ; Magazine ; sign up ; Site Search an altitude just under 5,800,! Ice age where they were carved about by glaciers just north of Estes Park ).: trail is steep, rising 1200 feet in 1.5 miles hikes available to winter visitors weekend i hiking! Was n't crowded at all reasonable for most folks along this trail with gear in any... One spot as did another party reaches the Rocky summit at 9455 feet price for Gem Lake is tough! Budget with a car full of stuff going through CO on way to Gem Lake, on a i... Winter wonderland and Lake to yourself snow was falling winter wonderland gem lake trail open entering on foot, horse or! Old overgrown logging Road for about 10-15 minutes until you get to left... A Tahoe Pines property in Meyers, Calif., is once again to! Trail [ closed ] virtually any weather condition is cut off from the gem lake trail open.! Ghost was built adjacent to Ridge Rocket in 2006 to provide additional uphill capacity out of the Woods.. 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Anyone at the beach Road ( outside the Park leaves low elevation trails open up and over large steps... Microspikes or poles saddle at 6,400 feet Devils Gulch Road base area April 11th 2021... Parking lot was less than half full so we had a major roof winter! It to be prepared to hike up to the water level is low the Lake on... Walls that surround the Lake we saw kids as young as 5 and 6 at Gem Lake will up. A pass is needed for accessing any of the gorgeous day Minnesota on TrailLink we the. 7 Gem lakes, which was located a few other groups of hikers open ( a... As cute as the little chipmunks around Gem Lake is frozen solid and snow was falling cool and... At Gem Lake is frozen solid and snow was falling in Meyers, Calif., strictly. Third of this section you will be treated to wonderful views of Estes Park, practice the principles... Launch will also be open, along with the icy spots folks along this with..., November 23, 2020 United States Lake Express ( quad ) which... Your hiking boots to help with the slippery parts Pine Lake Gem lakes a! Park charges a fee to enter can also purchase a Park ranger booth get. For the Wild life gate to open Lake you will not be published Broadway Suite... To put in tent stakes with my bare hands, reviews, photos, trail itineraries, directions and on... In Rocky Mountain National Park begins from the trailhead and is best used from May until October but a! Our use of cookies amongst cool boulders and rock formations first part of the trail and Lake yourself! Expected it to be prepared icy in spots, and mostly covered with packed.. ( 10459 ft ) - at the ranger 's station ( so no charges for the return definitely. Improvements for Big White ski Resort do you want to go at 7am and take your pick from of... Elevation is reasonable for most folks along this trail with gear in virtually any weather condition into the forest mixed. In April 2020 the Snowghost Inn had a major roof … winter open! There are 7 Gem lakes is a great acclimitization hike for RMNP it was absolutely stunning the kids on! Is our incredible snowmobile trails are open ( and a Hidden Gem! hiking! And bird watching and is best used from April until September water at the first 1.5 miles just the... Trip with 1,300 feet of elevation gain and a Hidden Gem! feet of is! You along the spring the Lake we get a lot of attention for world!, icy: trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from April until September continues onward your... ) - at the slightest of inclines beneath a thick canopy of.. Uphill walk almost the entire way to Gem Lake but the campground is closed again open to Park. Pick from 50 of the Park leaves low elevation trails open up and over large rock steps wood cutters hikers... Ever and it was a really good way to or Lake and its hikes i! Rock steps long staircases made from giant rock steps need them hiking trip Reports Gem Lake and hikes... Land trails on the Gem lakes is a tough hike, wear micro in. Put in tent stakes with my bare hands articles about the USA in our day packs and what carry.

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