Gem Lake Trail

#1 of 132 trails in Rocky Mountain National Park

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Gem Lake Trail is a 1.8 mile out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

Directions from Estes Park: Drive north on MacGregor Avenue. Cross the Hwy 34 bypass and continue to a sharp right turn and sign for MacGregor Ranch. Follow the blacktop ranch road to the parking area.

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

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92 Completed 18 Reviews

Just echoing what others have said. Get out early for less people on the trail, as the reward on this easy out and back day is a perfect mirror reflecting pool that makes even an unacclimated climb up to a silent Gem Lake worth it.

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Dean Heino

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20 Completed 4 Reviews

This is one of my favorite RMNP trails. It is a great altitude acclimation trail before going on to higher trails in the park. Rock formations on this ridge above Estes Park are exceptional. On your way to the lake, there are several points just off the trail where you can climb out onto rock formations with great views. If you enjoy a mountain-top experience, DON'T STOP AT THE LAKE!! It takes a little bit of rock scrambling, but walk past the lake just a little bit and then start climbing up one of the rock formations that overshadow the lake on both sides (and you might want to explore both sides). My favorite is on the west side (go left and up after going past the lake). There is no "trail" -- you just have to work your way up to the top. Note that to get to the highest point, you have to find your way around the back side of the top rock formation (there's a short section that is a little scary). Once on top you have a 360-degree mountain top view that is excellent! A great place to have lunch!

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

Went my parents who are in there 40's. Really enjoyed it even though it was easy for me, but more moderate for my mom. The different views were wonderful. Also saw elk,chipmunks,humming birds and etc.

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11 Completed 2 Reviews

Meh. It has some cool rock formations on the way, but not worth the trouble. The lake is neat and you can see Estes Park on my way up, as well as the continental divide, but overall...there are much better trails.

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

I hiked with my wife and 9 year old twins. Great short hike. Great views! Kids enjoyed it.

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10 Completed 1 Reviews

This was my first hike with any real elevation to it and while I had to stop periodically to catch my breath and hydrate, it's a great starter for elevation hikes and offers incredibly beautiful views.

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7 Completed 2 Reviews

Fun hike! It is basically a stairwell to the lake. But has a ton of beautiful sites just remember NO DOGS ALLOWED!! :-(

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29 Completed 3 Reviews

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13 Completed 1 Reviews

This is a nice hike. For 50 +, as I and my wife are, it was a little strenuous. We went on April 10 and there was very little snow. Taking our time, it took us 3 hours up and back.

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11 Completed 11 Reviews

Living in Estes Park for a while and getting out as much as possible to this trail you might think I'd become "jaded" to it. Not at all. It is spectacular. The trail starts in the trees and boulders and winds you through and up over scenic overlooks, rocky outcroppings, and wonderful aspen groves. Longs Peak is visible to the south as well as Twin Sisters. Since opening my company, shootmyhike.com, I now get out onto a trail at least three times a week, sometimes five. This trail never disappoints my clients or myself. High on my list.

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