Hike to Gem Lake

Gem Lake from Lumpy Ridge Trailhead, 3.5 RT, 1000′ Elevation Gain, 5.5 Difficulty Level, 8,845 Max Elevation

This particular hike started out with my two boys and the youngest’s girlfriend.  My youngest son was not dressed for hiking whatsoever.  Maybe that was intended.  My oldest son and I left them in our dust and my youngest and his girlfriend ended up heading back after about half way.

20150919_100419

The weather forecast said that it was going to be a tad cooler than it was.  I think this is the first hike that I’ve been on where I was actually sweating.  Not having showered when I got home, my husband actually told me that I had BO!  Me!  I kept smelling my shirt, and I think that he was nuts!

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-84

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-86

I actually shot this on the way back. The sky and clouds were AMAZING!

This hike has an area with high stairs, and many switchbacks.

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-1

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-2

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-3

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-4

My son decided to do a little off-roading, thinking that it would be a more direct route to the trail.  It wasn’t.

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-5

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-6

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-8

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-12

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-14

The trailhead is actually on private property.  It’s a pretty interesting story.  You can read about the trail here.  This is actually where Rocky Mountain National Park starts:

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-18

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-20

This is the last we see of my son and his girlfriend until we return to the parking area.

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-21

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-23

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-26

The colors were just starting to change.

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-27

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-30

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-31

As I mentioned above, I was getting a little warm, so I rolled up my sweatshirt and left it behind a log in this area, to pick it up on the way back down.

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-32

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-33

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-34

As we were passing these hikers, they asked if we had any extra water.  They were visiting from Seattle and weren’t prepared for the hike or the altitude.  I just had half a bottle, and my son had his big thermos, so I offered them mine.

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-36

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-38

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-39

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-41

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-42

They actually had a privy near the lake!  I’ll show you a few pics of that soon.

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-43

What a small world!  I was passing a couple of hikers and the woman asked if I was the one from the dog park.  She goes to our dog park!

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-44

We have arrived…

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-45

My son decided to do a little more off-roading and told me that I should join him.  I did.  I’m now looking into buying a pair of gloves.

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-48

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-49

This lake is formed only by snowmelt and rain.

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-52

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-54

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-56

2015 Gem Lake RMNP-60

We went “off-roading” one more time…

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-68

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-70

The privy that I was glad to use…

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-76

This is what it looks like from afar.  I guess my son saw it on the way up, but I missed it.  It’s center, left.

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-77

Paul Bunyan's Boot. I missed this on the way up too and we walked right past it.

Paul Bunyan’s Boot. I missed this on the way up too and we walked right past it.

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-81

The stream was THAT low. They have the board for crossing in the Spring and early Summer because of the melting snow.

The stream was THAT low. They have the board for crossing in the Spring and early Summer because of the melting snow.

gem lake, lumpy ridge trailhead, estes park, colorado, rocky mountain national park, hiking, trails, images, photography, carol dunnigan photography, mountains-88

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: