Lumpy Ridge Hike:
Great place to bring a packed lunch
Watch the sunset or sun rise
Bathroom, Parking, Free
With our friends Jen and Jeff, long time Coloradans, we decided to do a hike James and I had not done before. That is not all that hard for us newbies. We pulled out the map and looked for a hike that was over one mile long and within the Estes Park city limits. That is when we found Lumpy Ridge. Direction: From the intersection of US 36 and US 34 in Estes Park, take Wonderview Ave. north for 0.4 miles to MacGregor Ave. Drive north on MacGregor Ave. for 0.7 miles, where the road turns abruptly east (and the name changes to Devils Gulch Rd.). Drive northeast on Devils Gulch Rd for 0.6 miles to the turnoff for Lumpy Ridge Trailhead. Turn left (north) and drive the 0.3 miles to the parking area.
We pulled into the parking lot which was not tiny, but not as big as Bear Lakes parking lot. It was not full, but I bet in the summer time you might want to arrive in the morning. We had just come from breakfast where the coffee was flowing so it was very, very nice to see a bathroom right before you enter the trail. The trail maps are well marked showing you the miles and all the different trails you can take. Gem Lake here we come. It is 1.7 mile hike. Perfect!
This trail is very well marked even in the winter. They put in wood steps when the incline is a bit high. Love steps, good for the heart and the legs. Most of the steps are made out of the granite rock that surrounds you. You are in the trees and hills walking among nature. It felt so good to have the sun on my face and to hear the winter sounds. The trail was a bit slippery from melting snow, but it was easy to maneuver.
About a third of the way up you come to this amazing wide open flat area. The view of Estes Park is breathtaking. Perfect place to spread out a blanket and soak it all in. As you continue along the path the rock formations are stunning. Now we know why they called it Lumpy Ridge. The amount of aspens along the trail must be amazing in the fall when the trees turn yellow. I am putting this hike back on our to do list for October.
Along the path we met a few people. One was a family with a 5 year old boy and a 7 year old girl from Boulder. We stopped to talk to them at Paul Bunion’s boot. This is over half way to Gem Lake. We also met a lovely senior couple with there walking sticks on the way up. This is a great family hike.
As you wined along the path doing switchback after switchback you finally come to the incredible view of Gem Lake.
This is where we pulled out our lunch. We sat along the lake that is lined with rock formations. It took us almost two hours to get to the lake, but it was well worth every step. We did a lot of picture taking along the way…and a little fun!