Finch Lake - Pear Lake - page 2
Always consult the map at every junction. If in a group, let everyone see where you are, where you have been, and where you are going.
The only potable water source in Wild Basin is near the restrooms at the entrance station. If you need water, fill up as you enter the Park.
There seemed to be plenty of water along the trail when we walked in June in July. All of the 'wild' water needs to be filtered, treated, or boiled.
Lateral moraines form ridge like features on either side of Wild Basin. To the north the lateral moraine is crossed on the Sandbeach Lake Trail and to the south the lateral moraine is crossed by the Finch Lake Trail and the Calypso Cascade Trail.
A lateral moraine is the debris that is pushed to the sides of the moving glacier. The lateral moraine marks the edge of the ice before the glacier retreats. Lateral moraines are often ridges.
The section of the trail that climbs to the top of the lateral moraine from the south has some very large steps. The slope is steep and is subject to erosion. The new(ish) steps just seem to be unusually tall. On some tall steps you can still make smaller steps but on others, you just have the tall step. Ouch.
The junction at the top of the moraine with the Allenspark Trail and the Calypso Cascade Trail is sometimes called confusion junction. The directional signs need to be re-worded. I am not even sure where the Ranger Station at Finch Lake Trailhead is.
When crossing the Ouzel Fire scar, there are great views to the north of Pagoda, Meeker, glimpses of Longs, and wildlife - the moose was very near the trail.
A nice creek is located just before the descent to Finch Lake. The creek is a popular rest stop.
The descent to Finch Lake is very easy. The climb back up, is oh, so difficult!
Finch Lake see a lot of traffic, please practice minimum impact usage.
There is one privy on the route. It is located at the Finch Lake Group Campsite.
Finch Lake is still below treeline.
Above Finch Lake, the trail maybe snowy through the middle of the summer.
After crossing Pear Creek, the trail turns sharply to the right. On one of our first trips we followed boot prints in the snow beyond the campsite and into the woods. It was very snowy. We were not on the trail!
Pear Lake is at timberline.
From Pear Lake it is possible to climb to the Hutcheson Lakes, Cony Lake, and even Mount Copeland. All travel beyond Pear Lake is cross-country.
Finch and Pear Lake may also be accessed from the Wild Basin Trailhead. Hike the Wild Basin Trail for 1.80 miles to Calypso Cascades. The Calypso Cascade - Allenspark trail then leads 1.30 miles to the Finch Lake Trail junction. The total distance is .80 longer (3.10 instead of 2.30), but it gives you another option.
To hike a loop using the Finch Lake Trail and then returning via Calypso Cascade and on to the Wild Basin Trailhead ... From the Finch Lake Trail Junction with the trail to Calypso Cascades - go to the Cascades, then follow the Wild Basin Trail to the Wild Basin Trailhead. That still leaves you with about a quarter of a mile to the Finch Lake Trailhead. You can either walk the road or once across the road's bridge, you can move to the horse trail (located to the right of the trail) which follows along the road.
For Mountain Data and Route Guide
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Finch Lake - Pear Lake Trail Mileage
0.00 Finch Lake Trailhead
0.80 Crosses ridge - top of the Lateral Moraine
1.40 Junction with (lower) Allenspark Trail
2.30 Junction with (higher) Allenspark Trail and Calypso Cascade Trail
3.95 Cross creek on large bridge
4.40 Finch Lake - east bank
5.65 Small pond to the south (left) of the trail
6.15 Cross Pear Creek on footbridge
6.50 Pear Lake
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Wild Basin Trails - pdf
Wild Basin Trails - geo - pdf