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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 Lake Trail #554 - Idaho Panhandle NF, ID

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  3.7 of 5 
8 1 0
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.41 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,644 feet
Elevation Gain 1,154 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,154 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 5.26
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
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8  2021-06-29 LindaAnn
Author LindaAnn
author avatar Guides 60
Routes 401
Photos 4,338
Trips 1,346 map ( 9,703 miles )
Age 41 Female Gender
Location Ahwatukee, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
Seasons   Late Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:23am - 8:17pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

thorn free n pleasant
by LindaAnn

Likely In-Season!
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Overview: Short but steep trail to Gem Lake in the Cabinet Mountains.

Hike: The trail is signed at the trailhead and heads east from the road. The elevation gain begins immediately as you head into the forest. The trail itself is in great shape but is very crowded by vegetation. Luckily, none of the vegetation has thorns, so it's just a matter of pushing through the plants as you follow the trail.

There are some lazy switchbacks as you head east, then southeast. Views are limited but look behind you to see the old Lunch Peak Lookout to the west. If you're curious, that lookout is accessible from a nearby trail or can be driven up to if your vehicle can withstand the rough road.

After about a mile, you can see a steep ridge in front of and above you, and there will likely be snow on it in places well into summer. The trail will turn east again as you hike the final stretch to the lake. Eventually, Gem Lake appears through the trees, and as you enter the bowl, the lake is in front of you. There are a few nice campsites around the lake. The trail ends at the southwest edge of the lake, which is roughly 15 acres, but you can pick your way along the lake's edge by following social trails.

Retrace your steps back out when done. Gem Lake Trail is not the most exciting trail but is pleasant and pretty easy considering the elevation gain.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

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

2021-06-29 LindaAnn

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Coeur d'Alene, take US-95 north to Sandpoint. At Sandpoint, take Hwy 200 East to Trestle Creek Rd. Turn left on Trestle Creek Rd, which turns into FS-275. Take FS-275 up to where it ends at FS-419. Turn left at FS-419 and take it another 2 miles to where the road sign indicates Gem Lake Trail at a hairpin turn. There are two or three road signs along the drive, so finding the trailhead is easy.

    FS-275 is car-friendly. FS-419 is rougher, but a car could make it if dry. Medium clearance would be better.
    page created by LindaAnn on Jun 29 2021 4:38 pm
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