librarian + adventurer

HIKES

Gem Lake

27 May


Gem Lake
Trailhead: Lumpy Ridge Trailhead, RMNP
Distance: 3.1 miles (easy)


 

We woke up Saturday morning and got ready to hit the trails. Sam had never been to this side of Rocky before, and I knew he would really like the Lumpy Ridge area so we planned on Gem Lake (at the risk of repeating our itinerary from last years trip...). With beautiful weather forecasted, we knew we’d have to get to the trailhead relatively early if we wanted to get a spot. We succeeded, slathered on some sunscreen, and hit the trail! 

 
 
 

We did this hike with the intention of hammocking at the top (especially because our campsite didn’t have ANY hammockable trees!!), so when we reached the lake and sat down, it was a bit disappointing to realize the trees I had envisioned in my head could really only fit two hammocks. Sam was convinced there were hammockable trees on the other side of the lake, so I sent him and Logan over to scope it out while I stayed behind to guard the three trees we had found. They eventually signaled me over, and Sam was 100% correct: there was a group of trees that were perfect for the three of us!  

 

We set up and then all laid down to read and relax for a bit. Sam eventually got antsy and climbed the rocks surrounding the lake, but Logan was in the middle of the first Percy Jackson book and I was reading too, so we stayed put. After an hour or so, the call of ice cream and beer was too strong to stay at the lake any longer. We packed up and headed down the trail, stoked to be headed into town! 

 

Pro tips for this trail:

  • START EARLY! The lot fills up fast and you’ll have to add a sizeable chunk of uphill walking if you can’t park in the lot. Plus it’s a super popular hike & you’ll want to beat the crowds
  • Have bug spray! Especially on still, summer days, the lake is pretty overrun with bugs.