D/R/E: 3.6 miles - 910' elevation gain
Hiking Distance Is The Total Length Of The Hike
The shallow waters of Gem Lake are cradled high among the rounded granite domes of Lumpy Ridge. Untouched by glaciation, this outcrop of 1.8 billion-year-old granite has been sculpted by wind and chemical erosion into a backbone-like ridge. Signs of these erosional forces—pillars, potholes, and balanced rocks—appear midway along the trail to Gem Lake. They are truly spectacular! Other highpoints include spectacular views of the Estes Valley and the Continental Divide, and a curious balanced rock called Paul Bunyan's Boot. You don't need a park pass for this hike. It's great for kids but a little steep at times.