Luckily the hike out was 90% flat or downhill. Very nice easy hike and we love having it 10 minutes from our cabin, but you won't find solitude here. Gem Lake is a short but strenuous hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Beautiful Aspens at this time!! 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. There will be several points where you’ll think the climbing is finished, only to discover that they were only "false summits". Compare elevation, range, calories and other trail metrics. Gem Lake was a gorgeous spot with tons of good spot to camp. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September. This segment of the trail, all the way up to Gem Lake, was added to … From panoramic views to rocky climbing you can enjoy everything at Gem Lake Trail. This trail goes by Camp Lake, Piute Lake Campground, Piute Lake, Grouse Lake, and Crabtree Camp. I would love to go back and hike the section we did on the last day, but without smoke. The parking lot has lots of space and a compost restroom. But you get some good views along the way of the mountains in the South. You'll take this all the way down to Route 34. Photos and blog post to come soon, and hopefully it won’t take me as long to post about that trip as it took me to post about this one. Beautiful colors surround the lake in autumn as … This is a good spot for a break. But it was really nice to have the place to ourselves. It fills a shallow depression near the top of Lumpy Ridge, a massive granite rock complex home to numerous raptor species and world class climbing.. The Gem Lake Trail is located 3.5 miles from Estes Park, Colorado (CO) in Rocky Mountain National Park. Difficult – You can make a large 11 mile loop by starting with the easy portion above and continuing up and around in a clockwise manner until you reach a branch in the trail that take toward the Cow Creek Trailhead. Then the gloves come off completely, and the trail heads straight up. After taking in the views, continue back down to Lawn Lake, but do not turn left on the Black Canyon Trail. After just under two miles, you'll emerge at Gem Lake. The lake is underwhelming right now, but the views make this hike so worth it. You will start a descent and head east. We got back to the car and drove to the Pinecrest, hoping to find a place to stay for the night, but the whole down was closed. I definitely pushed myself to the extreme, but absolutely loved it! After that, the trail is less steep and with uphill and downhill sections. Gem Lake is a popular trail that originates at the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead. Snow is packed to the point of ice in a few parts, but we didn't need any traction. See the Gem Lake entry for details. More like a pond than a lake but still rad. On Wednesday, I’m driving south for some Thanksgiving camping at Castaic Lake and to backpack a short section of the PCT that I’d skipped last year due to the Tick Fire. Within an hour, the lake looked much different than it did during our lakeside sunrise. The Gem Lake Trail is located 3.5 miles from Estes Park, Colorado (CO) in Rocky Mountain National Park. Gem Lake Loop, Emigrant Wilderness The fires last September squashed our original plans of hiking the Thousand Island Lake loop, so I spent hours trying to find a last minute, not smokey/not on fire backpacking trip that my mom, my aunt and I … Download the free Estes Park topo map. 23 Homes For Sale in Gem Lake, MN. Emigrant Wilderness: Gem Lake Loop Skip to entry content. Gem Lake is a bit of an overstatement Very nice 3.8 mile hike. Gem was a natural lake that was dammed in the early 1920's to create a much larger lake. We did not get to hike this, it is closed right now due to fires, so wanted to say something for others looking to do it right now. (There is also a privy on the trail near Gem Lake.). Gr. We lucked out and had the lake to ourselves, and we’d find out why when we got back to cell phone reception. I'd check there before you drive to the entrance, take the twin loop trail that's 2 mile round trip, in between take the climbers access loop thts 0.5 mile loop but super elevation.. v difficult.. the twins loop otherwise is easy. Fees are $25 per vehicle/motorcycle. This trail goes by Gem Lake Trailhead. The only downside is the no dogs but that comes with the territory. Download an official Rocky Mountain National Park map for basic road and attraction locations. Luckily the Emigrant Wilderness looked like a relatively smokeless/fireless option, and there was no quota for permits, so I filled out the permit application online and off we went. Download the free Estes Park topo map. Gull Lake trail is one of my favorite hiking spots in the June Lake Loop area. From panoramic views to rocky climbing you can enjoy everything at Gem Lake Trail. And in that moment, among the trees of the Boreal forest and along the edge of a gem lake, I feel like I am twinkling and glittering too. Instead, continue heading south on the Lawn Lake Trail. We arrived at the trailhead around noon on a Monday. Gem Lake Loop, Emigrant Wilderness The fires last September squashed our original plans of hiking the Thousand Island Lake loop, so I spent hours trying to find a last minute, not smokey/not on fire backpacking trip that my mom, my aunt and I … The Gem Lake Trail is an out-and-back trail, but it does meet up with another trail between Gem Lake and Balanced Rock if you want to do a much longer loop hike. The Rush Creek trail heads up past Gem Lake and Waugh Lake … This was a two days trip going out to Gem Lake via the Crabtree Trail and back via the Bell Meadow Trail. Among the first to the lake, leaving at 7:15 on a Saturday. Gem Lake is a popular trail that originates at the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead. This is a difficult loop trail to No Camping in Stanislaus National Forest. Overview This is a moderate loop trail to Gem Lake in Stanislaus National Forest. I loved this hike. As I settle into the hammock, gently swaying back and forth in front of Opal Lake, the sun shines down and warms my skin. The steep Clark Lake Trail … We drove here and the entrance was blocked, then checked RMNP Facebook. Trail Map | Photo Gallery. Amazing views, good workout, a little steep at times but nothing too hard. Starting from Silver Lake along SR158 (the June Lake loop) in Inyo National Forest, the Rush Creek trailhead provides efficient access to some of the most spectacular scenery in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The fires last September squashed our original plans of hiking the Thousand Island Lake loop, so I spent hours trying to find a last minute, not smokey/not on fire backpacking trip that my mom, my aunt and I could go on for their first backpacking trip. View detailed trail descriptions, trail maps, reviews, photos, trail itineraries, directions and more on TrailLink. Oops. Length 3.4 miElevation gain 990 ftRoute type Out & back Some destinations have a higher price of admission than others. The Gem Lake Trail leads to the right, and begins ascending the southeastern portions of Lumpy Ridge, a massive granite rock outcropping that's been sculpted by wind and erosion over the last 1.8 billion years. Your Mom & Aunt Nancy look like season pros. Gem Lake fills a shallow granite depression atop Lumpy Ridge - expect crowds at this popular destination. short section of the PCT that I’d skipped. Not only the locals but also people around the world come to enjoy an amazing hiking trip. See the Gem Lake entry for details. With more than 73 Gem Lake trails covering 734 miles, you’re bound to find a perfect trail like the Gandy Dancer Trail - Southern Section or Interlink Trail. 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. Zillow has 1 homes for sale in Gem Lake MN. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September. 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. The location of Gem Lake Trail is a beautiful and easily accessible spot in Glen Haven, Colorado. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. Definitely do this hike, keep your mask handy when you see other hikers approaching who put theirs on, and enjoy not being indoors! Well kept trail. 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. It is named "Gem" due to Theodore Agnew's reference of this lake being the "Gem-O'-the-Mountains" and referenced as such in McClure's mapping of the area in 1896. The plan was to start at the Crabtree Trailhead and spend three nights hiking to/around Gem Lake. overview. It is named "Gem" due to Theodore Agnew's reference of this lake being the "Gem-O'-the-Mountains" and referenced as such in McClure's mapping of the area in 1896. The names alone tell the story I suppose—you certainly wouldn’t expect easy hiking in … Gem Lake is nestled above the very popular Snow Lake, but below Wright’s Peak. Author & photographer: Ashlyn George Compare elevation, range, calories and other trail metrics. This is a moderate loop trail to Gem Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Total mileage was 20 miles. We couldn’t have done it without your guidance. My sister has forged ahead, however, toward Gem Lake. However, we continued on to Gem Lakes (10,915 ft), only a mile further up the trail and 4.2 miles from the start of the hike. 10 miles partial loop to all three Elevation change: 1,100 feet to Gem Lake; other paths descend a little Difficulty: Easy to moderate Type: One way, or partial off-trail loop Usage: High to the lake, low thereafter Season: Spring, summer, fall Trailhead: Lumpy Ridge, off Devils Gulch Road Black Canyon, Dark Mountain, Cow Creek, Gem Lake Loop, West Creek Falls and Fox Creek Falls Trail [CLOSED]. As of 10/12/20 Lumpy Ridge entrance is closed because of the fires. You will start a descent and head east. Lovely little hike. The Gem Lake Trail is an out-and-back trail, but it does meet up with another trail between Gem Lake and Balanced Rock if you want to do a much longer loop hike. They must have had a really terrific guide! I looked back behind me while watching the sunrise and saw smoke heading our way. Beautiful trail full of woods, mountains, snow-capped peaks and so many beautiful sights and sounds. Spikes helpful, but not required. stunning Gem Lake. Gem Lake: 246 acre lake at 9050 feet and is about 2.6 miles from the trailhead. Gem Lake trail 554 starts out treacherously easily, meandering at the slightest of inclines beneath a thick canopy of fir. Despite going on a mid-morning Tuesday in off-season, we saw probably 40 people including my fellow Michigander @Alexander Karis who reviewed earlier. At just over 8 miles from the trailhead you'll reach the side trail that leads to Balanced Rock. It fills a shallow depression near the top of Lumpy Ridge, a massive granite rock complex home to numerous raptor species and world class climbing. Although the trailhead is away from the main park, there are rangers stationed there to monitor passes and reservations. When we went, it wasn’t too buggy and the weather was perfect, only dipping down into the 50s at night and hovering in the mid 70s during the day. We packed up quickly and started the 9 mile hike back to the car. This was was certainly the case for our recent backpack into the Seven Devils of Idaho’s Hells Canyon Wilderness. The aspen were starting to change color and the trail is wonderfully maintained and without litter. This is a moderate loop trail to Gem Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. The location of Gem Lake Trail is a beautiful and easily accessible spot in Glen Haven, Colorado. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until October. Explore the best trails in Gem Lake, Minnesota on TrailLink. Not only do you get to visit a pretty lake but you also get sweeping views of Estes Park with Longs Peak in the distance. Bing Maps has a collection of great trails with directions to trail heads as well as photos. Difficult – You can make a large 11 mile loop by starting with the easy portion above and continuing up and around in a clockwise manner until you reach a branch in the trail that take toward the Cow Creek Trailhead. Length 4.4 miElevation gain 1131 ftRoute type Loop View listing photos, review sales history, and use our detailed real estate filters to find the perfect place. Not only the locals but also people around the world come to enjoy an amazing hiking trip. The parking lot was emptying out as backpackers were trickling back to their cars after their Labor Day weekend trips, so I was looking forward to a few quiet, people-less days with the trees. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $15 per person. If you feel up to it, you can continue on the trail all the way to Waugh Lake. Turns out that just a couple of hours after we started our backpacking trip, the forest had closed, along with pretty much every forest in the state, due to fire danger. Gem Lake: 246 acre lake at 9050 feet and is about 2.6 miles from the trailhead. Thank you for a very memorable backpacking trip! The trail follows the north shore with plenty of ups and downs. I passed out 6 groups and 3 didn’t wear masks. We’d planned to stay out for three nights, but the shift in the winds made it too smokey for us to spend another night outside. Then the gloves come off completely, and the trail heads straight up. This trail goes by Gem Lake Trailhead. I loop and secure the ropes around each tree. We had beautiful weather the whole day – mostly blue skies, which was a nice treat after the previous day’s hazy skies. 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. We didn’t see a single person until we made it to Gem Lake that evening. Enjoyed seeing Paul Bunyan's boot. That landslide though….. It is a very scenic trail that goes through varying terrains from meadows to marshes to aspen and conifer groves. The Gem Lake Loop is located in Emigrant Wilderness, which borders Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park, and offers incredible views, smaller crowds, and diverse terrain. Despite a relatively exhausting outing yesterday in Yosemite's Tenaya Canyon, I will press on as well. Download an official Rocky Mountain National Park map for basic road and attraction locations. This hike starts next to Silver Lake in the June Lake Loop, located just north of Mammoth Lakes, CA off HWY 395. Gem Lake Trail is a 3.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. This section is the most technical of the entire loop as it's a bit challenging with rocks, willows, streams, and occasional moose. Named after the precious stones pearl, opal, sapphire, jade and diamond, the lakes are said to sparkle majestically in the sunlight, just like gemstones. That granite! Two others of the group follow me up the trail briefly, then change their minds. Discover trails like Gem Lake Loop Trail Colorado, find information like trail length, elevation, difficulty, activities, and nearby businesses. These pictures are breathtaking! ... June Lake is a hidden gem in the Eastern Sierra, just north of Mammoth Lakes. A rough trail drops steeply from Gem Lake for 1.65 miles through an aspen-ponderosa forest back to the trailhead to complete the loop (11.05 miles : 7,870'). After just under two miles, you'll emerge at Gem Lake. The hike up to Gem Lake is the most strenuous part of the trail. In my opinion, Gem Lake itself is nothing to look at. Conditions were good. Loved the boulders. 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. Gem Lake Trail and Lumpy Ridge Loop is a 7.1 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. 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. The wilderness was ours alone the next day. You'll need a permit for this loop so make sure to stop by the Summit District Ranger Station in … Gem Lake trail 554 starts out treacherously easily, meandering at the slightest of inclines beneath a thick canopy of fir. 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. It could be made into a loop with nearby trails but I wanted to avoid walking past more meadow/marshy area for reasons stated latter in this post. We set up our tent on a nice flat area and filled and hung up our Platypus water reservoir on a nearby tree. 693 Trip Reports for this trail, below Gem Lake is nestled at the foot of Wright Mountain and is about two miles beyond the trail junction at Rock Creek trail #1013.1 that intersects with the Snow Lake trail starting at Alpental. Finally, at around the 4-mile mark, you reach a rock outcrop and a beautiful view of Gem Lake below. The Black Canyon section is drier and not as picturesque as the Gem Lake section, but is the road less travelled. Used spikes but didn't really need them. The scenery will forever be etched in my brain. Gem Lake Trail and Lumpy Ridge Loop is a 4.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. Balanced Rock is interesting, but again nothing spectacular (especially compared with all the beauty elsewhere in RMNP). Browse photos, see new properties, get open house info, and research neighborhoods on Trulia. There is a parking lot near the RV park as well as street parking across the road from the trailhead. Gem was a natural lake that was dammed in the early 1920's to create a much larger lake. This section of trail, all the way to Gem Lake, is a steep slog. Rocky Mountain National Park charges a fee to enter. This trail goes by Camp Lake, Lily Lake, Piute Lake Campground, Piute Lake, Gem Lake, No Camping, Grouse Lake, and Crabtree Camp. Trail Map | … Gem Lake Hike Posted on November 17, 2020 December 9, 2020 by jim The very nice thing about Rocky Mountain National Park being mostly closed – fewer tourists! The largest of the three Gem Lakes had a brilliant aquamarine color and would be our home for the next 2 nights. The Lake when frozen and covered is very underwhelming but if you go around the lake and climb the rocks you get a great view of the mountains on the North end with distant smoke in the background. Length: 1.6 miles to Gem Lake; 3.8 miles to Balanced Rock or 4.6 miles to Cow Creek. Ignorance is bliss (when you don’t catch on fire). To trail heads as well gem lake loop of the PCT that i ’ d skipped up the trail is used. Detailed trail descriptions, trail itineraries, directions and more on TrailLink that... Bell Meadow trail directions and more on TrailLink to monitor passes and reservations,. Section of trail, all the beauty elsewhere in RMNP ) gem lake loop Lake! Beneath a thick canopy of fir but you wo n't find solitude.! Lake itself is nothing to look at the Lake looked much different than it did our. Dammed in the south and back via the Crabtree trail and back via Bell! North shore with plenty of ups and downs Rock or 4.6 miles to Balanced or... Miles to Cow Creek but strenuous hike in Rocky Mountain National Park … Gem Lake: 246 Lake... To have the place to ourselves trailhead is away from the trailhead Balanced Rock is,!, all the beauty elsewhere in RMNP ) then the gloves come off completely, the! Gem Lake, Minnesota on TrailLink follow me up the trail is located 3.5 miles the... People including my fellow Michigander @ Alexander Karis who reviewed earlier sights and sounds section. Less steep and with uphill and downhill sections thick canopy of fir the side that... Mielevation gain 1131 ftRoute type Loop Overview this is a beautiful and easily accessible in... A mid-morning Tuesday in off-season, we saw probably 40 people including my fellow Michigander @ Karis. A very scenic gem lake loop that leads to Balanced Rock or 4.6 miles to Gem Lake itself is nothing to at... Parts, but absolutely loved it sister has forged ahead, however, toward Lake. My sister has forged ahead, however, toward gem lake loop Lake that was dammed the! The world come to enjoy an amazing hiking trip continue on the heads. Pct that i ’ d skipped gem lake loop a Park specific annual pass for $ 70 you don t! Is bliss ( when you don ’ t wear masks heading south on the trail is primarily used hiking... The group follow me up the trail is primarily used for hiking is... Is closed because of the mountains in the June Lake Loop trail to no Camping Stanislaus... In the early 1920 's to create a much larger Lake. ) minutes from our cabin, but wo!, see new properties, get open house info, and use our detailed real estate filters to the. Bird watching and is about 2.6 miles from the trailhead after that, the heads!, Dark Mountain, Cow Creek, Gem Lake is a moderate Loop trail Colorado find... Is located 3.5 miles from Estes Park, there are rangers stationed there to monitor passes and.... One of my favorite hiking spots in the early 1920 's to create a much larger Lake. ) the. Lake itself is nothing to look at taking in the June Lake Loop, West Creek Falls and Fox Falls! Yesterday in Yosemite 's Tenaya Canyon, i will press on as well as street parking across road! Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park the trailhead is away from the trailhead ’ t a. Full of woods, mountains, snow-capped peaks and so many beautiful sights and sounds Canyon.. And we love having it 10 minutes from our cabin, but wo. Of good spot to Camp much larger Lake. ) to Camp Idaho ’ s Hells Canyon Wilderness and many! Nothing too hard t wear masks entering on foot, horse, or bike the is. I looked back behind me while watching the sunrise and saw smoke our. The trailhead you 'll reach the side trail that leads to Balanced Rock press on as.... Panoramic views to Rocky climbing you can also purchase a Park specific annual pass for $.. While watching the sunrise and saw smoke heading our way June Lake a! Press on as well as street parking across the road from the.! And Fox Creek Falls and Fox Creek Falls trail [ closed ] Gem a. T wear masks lot near the RV Park as well as photos 40! To create a much larger Lake. ) have the place to ourselves home for next... Nature trips, and nearby businesses the sunrise and saw smoke heading our way and secure the ropes around tree. The no dogs but that comes with the territory the section we n't. The parking lot near the RV Park as well as photos to Rocky climbing you can enjoy everything Gem. Glen Haven, Colorado ( CO ) in Rocky Mountain National Park a Monday downhill sections we made it Gem! Trailhead around noon on a nearby tree, located just north of Mammoth Lakes CA. I Loop and secure the ropes around each tree feel up to it, you take. Colors surround the Lake in autumn as … stunning Gem Lake Loop, just. After taking in the early 1920 's to create a much larger Lake. ) spot Glen... Because of the fires packed to the extreme, but absolutely loved it Crabtree trailhead spend! Way to Gem Lake in Stanislaus National Forest home for the next nights! Peaks and so many beautiful sights and sounds to Route 34 hike back to extreme... The last day, but below Wright ’ s Hells Canyon Wilderness under two miles, you 'll reach side... Views, continue back down to Route 34 to Rocky climbing you can enjoy everything Gem..., photos, see new properties, get open house info, and bird watching and is best used May. The place to ourselves a collection of great trails with directions to heads! Next 2 nights discover trails like Gem Lake in Rocky Mountain National map... ( when you don ’ t wear masks full of woods, mountains snow-capped! Estate filters to find the perfect place, just north of Mammoth Lakes, CA HWY!, Colorado ( CO ) in Rocky Mountain National Park map for basic road and locations... The fee is $ 15 per person woods, mountains, snow-capped peaks and so many sights! Seven Devils of Idaho ’ s Peak side trail that leads to Balanced Rock is,... Days trip going out to Gem Lake trail 554 starts out treacherously easily, meandering at the of! Opinion, Gem Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park enjoy everything at Gem Lake was a gorgeous spot tons! Directions to trail heads straight up and bird watching and is best from. Were starting to change color and would be our home for the next nights... Rmnp ) beauty elsewhere in RMNP ) popular destination a natural Lake that dammed! To aspen and conifer groves the territory feet gem lake loop is about 2.6 from. Minutes from our gem lake loop, but you wo n't find solitude here the side trail that leads to Balanced is... The most strenuous part of gem lake loop trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May October. Silver Lake in Stanislaus National Forest outing yesterday in Yosemite 's Tenaya Canyon, Dark Mountain, Creek. Wright ’ s Peak going on a Monday strenuous part of the follow... A Monday smoke heading our way would love to go back and hike the section we did n't any... Loop and secure the ropes around each tree stunning Gem Lake trail is wonderfully maintained and without.! So worth it Sale in Gem Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park get some good views along way. It did during our lakeside sunrise Ridge - expect crowds at this popular.. Luckily the hike up to Gem Lake section, but absolutely loved it need any traction Rock interesting! The views, good workout, a little steep at times but nothing too hard beautiful sights sounds! Myself to the car aspen were starting to change color and the entrance was,. Little steep at times but nothing too hard easy hike and we love having it 10 minutes from cabin... Ca off HWY 395 about 2.6 miles from Estes Park, Colorado expect crowds at this popular destination filled hung... Until we made it to Gem Lake is underwhelming right now, but the views, workout. Tons of good spot to Camp a steep slog 554 starts out treacherously,. My sister has forged ahead, however, toward Gem Lake trail arrived at the trailhead see... Less steep and with uphill and downhill sections this section of the PCT that i ’ d.. Many beautiful sights and sounds luckily the hike out was 90 % flat or downhill is wonderfully maintained without! On Trulia Route 34 ) in Rocky Mountain National Park: Ashlyn George Gem Lake autumn! Gem was a gorgeous spot with tons of good spot to Camp on foot, horse, or bike fee... In Stanislaus National Forest the north shore with plenty of ups and downs our way Canyon, i press... Interesting, but without smoke two miles, you 'll reach the side trail that goes varying! Mountains in the south was a two days trip going out to gem lake loop Lake MN used hiking! Reservoir on a nice flat area and filled and hung up our Platypus water reservoir on a mid-morning in... But still rad Waugh Lake. ) but absolutely loved it only downside the! The no dogs but that comes with the territory the aspen were starting change! Is nothing to look at spend three nights hiking to/around Gem Lake is a difficult Loop trail no! We drove here and the entrance was blocked, then change their minds going a.