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Rocky Mountain National Park: Lumpy Ridge Loop

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Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 10.2 miles


Go counterclockwise on this 10.2-mile loop touring the rocky cliffs and odd-shaped boulders of Lumpy Ridge to an alpine lake and several campsites in Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Rocky Mountain National Park Boundary
  • Trailside Views
  • Boulders
  • Rock Walls
  • Privy Sign
  • Gem Lake
  • Beach at Gem Lake
  • Gem Lake
  • Wildflowers
  • Towering Trees
  • Rabbit Ears Campsite
  • Towering Cliff
  • Peregrine Campsite
  • Aspen Grove
  • Longs Peak
  • Conifer Forest
  • Sundance Campsite
  • Cliffs
  • Deer
  • Flower
  • Private Property
  • Grassy Meadow
  • Meadow
  • The Pear
  • Trail Sign
  • Rocky Cliffs
  • Mountain Views
  • Memorial
  • Prohibited
  • Cluster of Signs

Lumpy Ridge rises above Estes Park, CO, concealing climbing routes, elk and deer herds, campsites, and an alpine lake. Get a full tour on this 10.2-mile dayhike or spend a night or two at one of the trailside campsites. From the trailhead, head up the Gem Lake Trail, winding through conifers. At mile 1.5 is Gem Lake, an alpine pool with no outlet stream, tucked under the rocky cliffs. In about a mile, turn right onto Balanced Rock Trail.

Ahead, the trail turns west and follows Cow Creek (and its namesake trail). Over the next few miles this loop passes three established campsites: Rabbit Ears (milepoint 4.2), Peregrine (milepoint 5), and Sundance (milepoint 7.8). Backcountry permits required. Turn left (south) after 6 miles and begin the loop back to the trailhead, passing through a short stretch of private property, under impressive cliffs, and long views to Longs Peak, the highest and the only 14,000-foot peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. 

INFO For information on permits, current trail and camp conditions, and wilderness guidelines, go to nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm

PERMIT
A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the backcountry. Reservations accepted ($20 administrative fee for permits during peak season). nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/backcntry_guide.htm

CONTACT
Rocky Mountain National Park, (970) 586-1206; nps.gov/romo

-Mapped by Jeff Chow

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