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Gem Lake Trail

Intermediate

Trail

4.6 mile 7.4 kilometer point to point
81% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,239' 378 m
Descent: -933' -284 m
High: 8,839' 2,694 m
Low: 7,768' 2,368 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 81% (39°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Brian Smith

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

Brian Smith

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

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 run 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.

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Check-Ins

Jul 7, 2019
Marina Prein
Jun 24, 2019
Sarah Marie
Jul 23, 2017
Mysticmerl1 None
Apr 30, 2017
Mallory Semmler
Easy climbing, beautiful views. Great for kids. 3.4mi

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 32 votes

#2

in Estes Park

#93

Overall
  4.3 from 32 votes
5 Star
38%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#2

in Estes Park

#26

in Colorado

#93

Overall
78 Views Last Month
8,043 Since Jan 8, 2015
Intermediate

0%
14%
54%
32%
0%
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
Second climb.
Sep 6, 2016 near Estes Park, CO

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