- Date hiked: 01/26/2020
- Hiked from: Lumpy Ridge Trailhead
- Distance hiked: 1.7 Miles one-way
- Total elevation gain: 995 ft
- Maintained trail: Yes
- Overall Difficulty: 4/10 – Steep, but short hike.
- Overall Views: 5/10 – The views are not horrible, but definitely not my favorite lake.
Gem Lake is a small, shallow alpine lake that is located north of Lake Estes, in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. It’s accessed from the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead, off of Devils Gulch Road.
Video of our Winter Hike to Gem Lake
Due to it’s easy access to the trailhead, and lack of major snow build up, makes this lake a popular destination in Rocky Mountain National Park year round. During icy and winter conditions microspikes or footing with good traction can be helpful to reach the lake.
I’ve read reports that Gem Lake gets pretty dry and muddy sometimes in late September if the seasons been dry. The hike to Gem Lake is pretty and offers amazing views of the town of Estes Park and Lake Estes. A great spot to watch a sunrise.
Gem Lake sits at the base of a unique rock formation and has no stream inlet or outlet. It’s one of the few lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park that isn’t glacier fed. I doubt the depth of the lake is any more than a couple of feet even in it’s prime. Its northwestern small shore is covered in sand creating a small beach. A great destination for families and small picnics.