Trailhead: Gem Lake Trailhead
Roundtrip: 3.4 miles roundtrip
If you're looking for a different Rocky Mountain National Park experience than you might be used to I highly suggest Gem Lake. The trailhead is outside of the Park, just past the Stanley Hotel (a great place to grab a craft cocktail afterwards) and takes you through all sorts of terrain while opening up to sweeping views Estes Park. The lake itself is unlike any other in the area and people often bring towels to have a "beach" picnic on the sandy shore. A beach day in Estes, yeah, I'll take it.