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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    266 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    9.5 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Jewel Lake Hike


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    Table of contents

    The Jewel Lake Hike is a stunning alpine adventure in the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). Hike up the Glacial Gorge, which reveals awe-inspiring mountain vistas as you climb. The idyllic lake will make up for the effort required! Perfect for families with kids and novice hikers, this is a popular RMNP experience.

    Route Description for Jewel Lake Hike

    Adventure into the wilderness of the Colorado high-country on the Jewel Lake Hike. This stunning alpine adventure travels to extreme altitudes, so ensure you are acclimated to the area’s elevations prior to your expedition. We also suggest checking the forecast to avoid getting caught in an afternoon storm, which are so common to the Front Range peaks. If you choose to venture this path in the winter or fall, we recommend microspikes or snowshoes to help navigate the likely icy and snowy terrain. A park pass is also needed to utilize these trails.

    Embark on your adventure along the Jewel Lake Trail from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead. From here, track south, passing the first junction, but at the next, veer left. Hike southeast along the Glacier Gorge Trail as it merges with the Glacier Creek. Ascend the aspen grove and the trail will deliver you to Alberta Falls. Revel in the mesmerizing cascades and continue trekking up the forested path. At the next intersection, keep right and hike around the base of the Glacier Knobs. Keep left at the next junction, maintaining along the Glacier Gorge Trail.

    Soon you will pass the Glacier Falls. This is a great spot to rest before the final push to Jewel Lake. Hike up the route to Mills Lake. Revel in the crystalline lake and hike along its shore to Jewel Lake. From Jewel Lake, hikers will be rewarded with dumbfounding mountain vistas. Admire the stunning scenery and when you are rested and refueled, retrace your steps back along the path back to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Jewel Lake Hike Trailhead

    The Jewel Lake Hike departs from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead off Bear Lake Trail.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground:

      Glacier Gorge Designated Dispersed Campsites, view details here.

    • When to do:


    • Pets allowed:


    • Family friendly:


    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


    • Route Type:

      Out and back

    Jewel Lake Hike Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather


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