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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Gem Lakes Trail, CA

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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 0.65 miles
Trailhead Elevation 10,861 feet
Elevation Gain 70 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 30 minutes
Kokopelli Seeds 1
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
7  2008-07-09 slegal
Author slegal
author avatar Guides 74
Routes 102
Photos 2,962
Trips 56 map ( 351 miles )
Age 59 Male Gender
Location Thousand Oaks, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Sep, Jun → Early
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  4:34am - 7:19pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

Truly a Gem
by slegal

Likely In-Season!
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.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2011-03-11 slegal
    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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To hike
    Take U.S. 395 to Tom's Place. From U.S. 395 travel south about 10.5 miles on Rock Creek Road. Rock Creek Road ends at the Mosquitos Flats Trailhead. As mentioned in the hike description. Parking is limited and you may have to park some distance down the road. From the Mosquito Flats Trailhead you will have to hike approximately 4 miles up Little Lakes Valley to get to the Gem lakes Trailhead.
    page created by slegal on Mar 11 2011 12:53 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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