Truly a Gem
This trail is described in the Little Lakes Valley hike. To get to this trail you need to hike up Little Lakes Valley for about 4 miles. The trailhead to Gem Lakes heads off to the right (south) from the Little Lakes Valley Trail.
The total round trip trail distance is about 0.60 miles. There is not a significant elevation gain along the trail, only about 70 feet. Please note that the trail difficulty is based on the fact that you have to hike up the Little Lakes Valley Trail to get to this trail, not because this trail is difficult by itself.
The trail passes Lower Gem Lake before ending at Upper Gem Lake. Lower Gem Lake is filling with sediment and will someday become a meadow. The photos posted of the lake show the grass extending out into the lake. This is a telltale sign of the slow demise of the lake.
Upper Gem Lake should be around much longer. To get the best views of Upper Gem Lake, you will need to scramble up the rocks to the right of the trail. The water in Upper Gem Lake has an interesting color which is due to a high mineral content. The water is very clear as well allowing you to see the bottom of the lake with good detail. The lake is truly a gem!
After the long hike to get to Upper Gem Lake, find a spot to have lunch or a snack. It is mostly downhill to get back to the Mosquito Flat Trailhead, but it's still a long trek. So enjoy the view, rest and recharge in this ideal spot.
Check out the Official Route.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.