Hike Lumpy Ridge to Gem Lake

3.5 Miles Round Trip - 950 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Lumpy Ridge Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Eric Schuette

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.

Tags

Rock Climbing
Photography
Running
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Details

3.5 Miles
950 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

Stay Nearby

Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park KOA

Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins / Lakeside KOA

Boulder, Colorado

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Overall rating: 

Gem lake was a gem!

We enjoyed the hike to Gem lake in mid May when some of the better known trails (I'm looking at you, Dream Lake) were still packed with heavy snow. Important to note that the Lumpy Ridge trailhead is not technically a NPS fee area. Even though we have a parks pass, there was no one there to look at it or to collect fees.

My first hike in CO

This was my first hike ever in Colorado. Now I live here. Enough said.

Great Hike

Awesome easy to mid level hike with a beautiful lake at the end.

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