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

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Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park KOA

Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins / Lakeside KOA

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Overall rating: 

The hike was fairly short, easy-moderate in difficulty, and very well marked. Wear hiking boots because there are some rocky segments. There are great views of Estes park and the surrounding peaks throughout this hike. Gem lake is very small, but has some nice spots to rest at.

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