• Activities:

    Camping, Fishing, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    13 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2112 Feet

Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Hike to several beautiful mountain lakes (finch and pear) without the crowds you will experience in many other areas of the park. At pear lake you will see few people and the opportunities for grander adventures are many. In addition to the beautiful scenery, wildlife (especially moose) are often spotted along the trail.

Pear lake is a beautiful alpine lake in the southern Wild Basin region of Rocky Mountain National Park. Once used as a reservoir, Pear Lake has been restored to its natural state and lies in scenic basin below some of the most isolated mountains in the park. The trail to Pear Lake passes through mature evergreen forests, aspen groves, fire clearings, and wet meadows that give occasional views of Longs Peak and the wild basin area.  

There are two trailheads that give access to the Finch Lake/Pear Lake trail. One, outside of the park, Is located just outside Allenspark Colorado and is a shorter alternative (you will also not have to pay the park fee to enter). The other is the Finch Lake trailhead inside the Wild Basin area. Both trailheads are only open late spring-fall, winter access would make for a very LONG adventure.

From the Finch Lake trailhead it is 13 miles round-trip with ~2,112 of net elevation gain. From Allenspark both numbers are smaller. From either trailhead you will begin mostly in evergreen forest for the first ~1-1.5 miles, which is the junction of the Allenspark trail and the Finch Lake trail. From this junction the trails merge and the rest of the hike is the same from either trailhead.

After the junction the trail alternates between level hiking and more strenuous inclines through the forest. You will reach the next junction after another mile, at this junction a trail heads down that will ultimately lead to the calypso cascades and the rest of the wild basin area.

After this junction you will not encounter any other trails until you reach Pear Lake. From the junction its about two miles to Finch Lake, the trail rises between evergreen forests, aspen groves, and some burnt areas from a lightning-induced fire in the 1970's. Less than a half-mile to go before Finch lake you will start to descend some switchbacks, unfortunately you will have to climb them on the way out....

From Finch Lake it is about 2 miles to Pear Lake. The trail from Finch to Pear rises continuously, mostly through evergreen forest. There are several ponds to the left of the trail along the way that can be feeding grounds for moose so keep an eye out. Upon reaching Pear Lake there is a social trail that follows the lake to its inlet. There are several interesting cascades and other places worthy of some exploration around the lake as well.

Pack List

Day Hiking: 

  • It is a long hike so be sure to have plenty of water
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen 
  • Map/compass 
  • Your camera

Backpacking: 

  • Backcountry permit 
  • Bear canister (required in Rocky) 
  • Tent 
  • Sleeping bag 
  • Food 
  • Water filtration 
  • First aid kit 
  • Camera
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Eric Schuette Explorer

I love adventure and exploring. Currently a school psychologist who tries to spend my free-time hiking, climbing, fishing, and celebrating with a good beer in Colorado. On Instagram @ericschuettephotography Cheers!!!

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