Twin Owls/Black Canyon -- Gem Lake

Located between the twin domes of Cathedral Ridge, Gem Lake is a small lake of unlimited beauty. The 1.9-mile hike is deceptive because of the 910 feet of elevation gain. As a 10% grade, you take one step up for every 3 steps forward.

I like this as a spring warm-up hike because it is ice and snow free when most of the other trails are impassable. Best time to visit and photograph is very late morning to mid afternoon.

Trailhead starts at Twin Owls on the McGregor Ranch or about 3/4 mile past the McGregor Ranch on the McGregor Road. Trails from both trailheads are about the same length and equally challenging. If the Twin Owls parking area is full, try the second trailhead.

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