This past weekend Phil and I went up to Estes Park to hike the Gem Lake Trail. For most of the hike, it was sunny and mild but as we approached Gem Lake the clouds took over and the temperature dropped. But the scenery in the Gem Lake area holds its own regardless of grey skies.
One thing that endears me to the Gem Lake Trail is that the route offers up many beautiful views, wanders past some terrific rock formations, and alternates between gentle walking and more moderate climbs. All this in a manageable couple of miles. You can hike the Gem Lake Trail in under two hours, get a great workout, and still have plenty of time to go back to Estes Park for a leisurely meal at Ed’s Cantina. During the winter, you can tackle this trail with a good set of crampons and a pair of sunglasses. No matter the season, the Gem Lake Trail is accessible and rewarding for hikers of all levels.