If you want to try something challenging and adventurous Gem Lake Trail will be a perfect hiking spot for you. It is among the most famous hiking locations in the world. The location of Gem Lake Trail is a beautiful and easily accessible spot in Glen Haven, Colorado. Not only the locals but also people around the world come to enjoy an amazing hiking trip. From panoramic views to rocky climbing you can enjoy everything at Gem Lake Trail. You will find the trail in the Rocky Mountain National Park. It begins from the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead at the north of Estes Park.
The total distance which you have to cover is 3.5 miles. The total elevation gain of Gem Lake Trail is 900 feet. It is a straight passage but a round path is created to make it easier for travelers. If you are planning to hike the trail first time. Make sure you are aware of your fitness level. Otherwise you may not be able to reach the top. Once you will reach the park your trail will start from Devils Gulch Road. However, remember that the location is outside the boundary of park. There are various steep climbs which you have to cover in order to reach Gem lake.
The small lake will be your destination. Once you will set eyes on the gorgeous lake you will forget about all the previous struggle and hard work. The mesmerizing lake is between granite cliffs. It is covered with the forest of spruce and fir. It is located at a height of 8,861 feet. If you will reach 14,260 feet towards Longs Peak you will find some amazing views. You may even come across the fourteeners known as residents of the park.
If you are planning to explore the flora of Gem Lake Trail you must visit the trail in summer. You will find many wild flowers specially Telesonix jamesii. It is a gorgeous pink flower which grows above the lake in the cracks of stones. Shimmering aspen leaves are also found here in September. There are many amazing facts about Gem Lake Trail that you should know in order experience its real beauty. Once you start climbing upwards do not forget to look behind.
The entire trail is surrounded with beautiful scenes that you cannot miss. If you will go through the moderate hike you will find various panoramic and beautiful views. There are wild flowers, a unique lake as well as the autumn foliage. Do not make the mistake of wading or swimming in the lake. Below the lake you will find a self-composting toilet which offers a great view.
The best thing about the trail is that it is opened year around. Even during the winter season you can visit the place with your family or friends. However, remember that pets are not allowed on the trail. So, you have to be careful in this regard. One thing you should know is that there is no maintenance during winter. It means you should be mentally prepared for snow during winter season.
There is a proper path constructed covered with boulders which makes climbing easier. During winter path finding can get a little tough. You will be surprised to know that there is no fee for hiking the Gem Lake Trail during day. However, if you are planing camp you will have to take permission from authorities of the park.
The best months to visit Gem Lake Trail are September and October. You can capture the best images of the panoramic scenes, flowers and foliage. But you can visit the trail anytime you want.