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LITTLE GEM OF A TRAIL ~ Gem Lake Trail Estes Park, CO

Updated: Nov 2, 2019

October 24, 2018

While visiting Estes Park this past week, we decided on a last minute hike with a group of 10 family members. This group of 10 consisted of 4 generations, from three 2 year olds all the way to the 73 year old great-grandmother. This trail, a 1.7 mile one way trail to Gem Lake, was listed as "difficult". It took us 3 hours (9:30-12:30) to complete the 3 mile hike, there and back, and was well worth the effort and time it took us to complete it.

The trail head is found north of Estes Park, off the Devil's Gulch Road near the Twin Owls Trail. It starts easy enough with a wide dirt path. The log steps are nice and easy. But as one climbs higher the steps turn into rock steps and tend to be tall steps. If you decide to take this little hike, make sure that as you climb in elevation, view the Estes Valley with Longs Peak in the background. The views were beautiful the morning we hiked. On the way up stop and take a snack break under Paul Bunyan's Boot, a unique rock formation that actually looks like his boot. Chipmunks will eat from your hand any crumbs you might share.

Climbing the rocky path a bit more will suddenly give way to Gem Lake, a very small lake among the rocks of Lumpy Ridge with a sandy beach!

Yes, it took our group 3 hours to complete the 3 miles from the parking lot to Gem lake and back to the parking lot. But is there a better way to spend a beautiful, autumn sunny day in Estes Park with family?

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