Hike Lumpy Ridge to Gem Lake

Lumpy Ridge Trailhead

Distance

3.5 Miles

Elevation Gain

950 Feet

Activities

Photography, Running, Hiking, Rock Climbing

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Eric Schuette

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Catch a sunrise from a much less visited and unique area in Rocky Mountain National Park. After the sunrise, explore unique scenery by hiking to and above Gem Lake. Lumpy Ridge and the twin owls are famous climbing destinations. The granite in the area is wonderful for climbing. From the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead it's ~3.5 miles round-trip with 950 feet of elevation gain. Gem Lake is the largest lake in Rocky Mountain National Park that has no inlet or outlet streams.

Begin by parking at the Lumpy Ridge trailhead, which is a couple miles outside of Estes Park on McGregor Avenue. At the trailhead, there are numerous signs indicating hiking trails, climbing routes, and other information about the area. After parking start hiking on the trail to the right of the bathrooms.

The trail continues for approximately ~1.8 miles to Gem Lake. The trail climbs steadily through Ponderosa Pine, Aspen, and unique granite rocks. On some of these rocks there are wonderful views of the Twin Owls and across the valley to Long's Peak and the continental divide.

At Gem Lake you can 1) turn around 2) continue on to Balanced Rock or Bridal Veil Falls trails (both of which add several miles each way) 3) climb up and enjoy some fun class 3/4 scrambling on the granite outcroppings in the area. If you choose 3 please recognize seasonal closures, no trace principals, and stay within your comfort/safety zone.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $385/night

The Woods

Frisco, Colorado

From $145/night

The Greens

Frisco, Colorado

From $168/night

Copper Springs

Frisco, Colorado

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Fun Hike

This hike is really cool, especially since it's right outside of town and a lower elevation than most hikes in RMNP, which means less snow in the shoulder seasons!

Gem Lake

Our 1st Hike upon arriving in CO. It started snowing about an 0.5 miles up the trail and once we arrived at Gem Lake it was really coming down. Gem Lake was not much to look at but the trail there was easy and had plenty of great views along the way. We wanted to continue on, but w/o spikes it was beginning to get slippery. By the time we made it back down to the entrance it had snowed over 3-inches.

Great intro to Colorado hiking

This was the first hike we did after arriving in Colorado. It was a nice, easy hike to start our trip and it gave us a chance to adjust to the altitude. Gem Lake was a bit of a disappointment, as it was very small and rather unremarkable. Nevertheless, the views along the trail were beautiful and it was an enjoyable hike.

Distance

3.5 Miles

Elevation Gain

950 Feet

Activities

Photography, Running, Hiking, Rock Climbing

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Eric Schuette

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike to Bridal Veil Falls

Adventure

Drive Rocky Mountain NP's Trail Ridge Road

Adventure

Camp at Aspenglen Campground

Adventure

Hike the Kruger Rock Trail

More Nearby Adventures

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