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We only hiked about 4.5 miles of this trail since we got on the road a little later than expected. Still a beautiful hike, is mostly a steep incline for the first couple miles so I would recommend being prepared for that. There’s a really pretty waterfall around mile 2(ish) off to the side. Would definitely like to go back and go backpacking!

We went on this hike Saturday. We started from the Allenspark trialhead, you can by pass the parking fees at RMNP. The first 1.8 miles is a steady climb with a couple of steep inclines, the forest is lush and dense and not a lot of scenery. At the junction you can go to the Wild Basin Station, Calypso Falls or continue onto to Finch and Pear lake. We continued into Finch Lake, the trail does level out in some places and in others you will have more steep inclines. The final push to Finch Lake will have you dropping several hundred feet before you reach the lake and then nestled in the trees is the lake, so peaceful and serene. There were only a handle of people at the lake and we had most of trail to ourselves.
It was a beautiful day with no clouds in the sky we just sat back and listened to the sounds of nature. We didn't allow time to attempt Pear Lake, that will be next time.

Did this trail today 9/8/18. It is dry with only a slight breeze at the lake. Trail is a steady uphill trek. Some rocky areas and some flat gravel areas. The aspen trees are quickly changing all along the route. The far south side of the lake gives great views of Mount Meeker, Longs Peak and Chiefs Head. Very few people on the trail or at the lake which is why I like this trail.

A nice hike. Not too strenuous. Finch Lake very tranquil and quiet. This is a walk in the woods though. There are no open views or panoramas at all if that's your bag. You can see the Longs Peak by looking through the trees and they do form a very pleasant background. A pleasant open and bright hike on a nice day. Not so sure what it would be like on a gloomy day. Saw not one soul on my return from Finch Lake on a Sunday afternoon. Very quiet the whole hike despite the family with a dog despite all the notices to the contrary at the start.

Great trail with scenic views! We hiked counterclockwise and camped one night at Devils Thumb Lake. You have to have a permit durning the summer months up until Sept 15th. We camped on 9/7 and the temperature at night got down to around 30 - 31 degrees so make sure you have the correct gear even in early September. The first part of the trail going counter clockwise with a 35lb - 40lb pack can be difficult on some of the climbs in elevation, take breaks and drink plenty of water and you’ll be fine. There are plenty of water opportunities on the trail, so accessing water isn’t an issue for the most part. The ascend up from Devils Thumb Lake to the High Lonesome Trail has some great views you climb about 1,000 feet over approx a 1/2 - 3/4 mile. The rest of the trail after you come down off the High Lonesome Trail by King Lake you’ll be going down in elevation the remainder of the time. The overall trail is marked “ok” but recommend having a map or gps as back up, I would not rely on the trail markers only when hiking this trail. Great 15 + mile trail with beautiful views......go get some!!

2018-0910 started this hike at around 9:15 AM thinking 8.6 miles or so of hiking round trip won't be bad. it is a beautiful hike and the leaves are just changing color. I would rate this as a moderate to strenuous hike mostly because of the gradual elevation change which isn't that bad. One just has to take it slow going up, which I did and took a lot of breaks. My GPS measured the distance as ~ 12+ miles round trip. The sign that says 3.1 miles to Sandbeach is incorrect. it is more like 4.5 miles from that sign. I did not see anyone on the trail going up but on the way down I met 2 people. Going up you pass 5 camp sites the last one being next to Sandbeach. On the return, I did it non-stop except for stopping to comment to the 2 hikers going up that it was a challenging hike.
The Sandbeach is beautiful and I stayed to eat lunch. 3 other hikers showed up to have lunch near the beach too. They appeared to come from one of the distant campsites.
I am glad I did this hike today as the weather was perfect, clear skies and light breeze along with the changing colors of the leaves

Lots of squatch sign, keep your head up.

I love love love this trail! 15+ miles of breathtaking views, minimal traffic (at least early on a weekday and compared to 14ers) and many runnable trails (except rocky bottom and steep top). I will definitely be back!

trail running
22 days ago

one of my favorite trail runs near FairPlay Colorado.

Great hike. We did this on 8/25.Beautiful views along the ridge and beautiful lake. Get there before 7 to get a parking place

Great hike overall! The views were killer and the hike was moderate during most parts, but some parts were strenuous specifically when coming up over the top of the pass. We hiked counter clockwise so the last 7 or so miles was downhill. If you do camp anywhere along this trail a permit is required and a bear canister is definitely recommended.

The hike was challenging at points but nothing a person acclimated to elevation couldn't handle with breaks. Easy one night loop the way we went. The Thai restaurant in Nederlands is a stop everyone should take for the lunch deal

Such an amazing hike! My friend and I arrived late on a Sunday, at 10am, and the parking was already full. We parked next to the road closer to town and walked up to the trailhead. That walk-in/out plus the hike took us the entire day - until 8pm - and we enjoyed every minute of it. The first section had us walking through a stream of water which had taken over the road, but once we got through that the trail was dry and easy to follow. Brilliant views the whole way, beautiful terrains which changed every few hours, lots of lakes and picturesque mountains.

Excellent weather today actual garmin gps was 7.9 miles round trip from Allenspark trail head. Arrived there at 9am with plenty of parking.
Would recomend starting at Allenspark vs Wild Basin due to amount of elevation gain from Wild Basin
Would do hike again and catch Pear Lake which is only 2 miles up from Finch Lake
Finch Lake compares to Odessa Lake or Yspsillon in beauty its worth the time and effort. Pack a lunch

This is a beautiful trail with excellent views. I will say that this is more of an intermediate hike due to how high you go in elevation from point A to point B. If you are not used to high altitude (from out of state), It would be advisable to try a trail in lower altitude. My wife and I are Colorado locals and struggled with it. We did love the scenery and the fact that we only saw a few other hikers on the trail. The lake is so peaceful.

We did the loop that Sarah talks about in reviews below. Ended up being 10.5 miles as we had parked at ouzel falls trailhead and came out at Finch Lake trailhead. Beautiful views of Longs, Meeker and Pagoda. Lovely aspen groves on the way out. Of course afternoon rain showers so an early start a must.

My girlfriend and I hike to Jasper's lake 5/25-5/27. We intended to do the whole loop but there was to much snow. Snow made it a little miserable but also fun. At some point there wasn't a trail just branching paths of foot prints. We got lost two or three times but nothing a little back tracking couldn't solve in a few minutes.

The hike to Jasper's was gorgeous. Will probably hike the whole loop at some point but when it's warmer for sure.

This was a beautiful hike. My wife and I did it in about a day and a half. We hiked it counter-clockwise, starting from Hessie. We left our car at 12:30, and camped at Devils Thumb lake that night, arriving around 6:30. The next morning we were on the trail at 6:30,and back to the car at 2:30.

As some others have said, I felt that the north half was the prettiest, but the whole thing is great. Also, aside from right near Kings Lake, and the first mile of the trail, we didn't see too many people.

I would definitely do it again. And splitting it up the way we did was nice, because we didn't have to do the whole climb up to the continental divide in one day.

This was definitely not a 7.2 mile east hike. The sign at the beginning of the trail says 10 miles and it is uphill almost the entire time. I would've rated this as a moderate. The views are incredible the entire time. be sure to arrive early because we got stuck in a parking lot 2 miles away from the trail head. So our hike went from 7 miles to 14 in total.

Beautiful views: mountain-backed lakes, harsh ridge lines, and wildflowers. Well-marked trail.

We hiked clockwise, three days, two nights -camped at Bettie Lake and Devil’s Thumb Lake, felt alone at both. Jasper Lake looked like a popular camping spot, and there was a site by the stream right before the off-shoot to Bob and Bettie Lakes if you don’t want to leave the loop. We were skinny-dipping at Devil’s Thumb and realized there was a lone fisherman across the lake getting a great show, haha, but otherwise, camping was very peaceful.

I was thankful for layers because it was really hot during the day, but surprisingly cold as soon as the sun dipped. We made Nalgene hot water bottles to supplement our 20* sleeping bags.

We hiked mid-week (Aug 8-10) and saw more hikers and trail-runners than backpackers. Some people struggling, but then also an older couple of women crushing it, and a Dad with two young kids. I’m a beginner with a heavy pack and ended each day smiling.

Brought my 35lb pup - she wore off her front pads chasing marmot in the rocks... which wouldn’t have been a problem if I had kept her on leash. She loved it. Didn’t see many (any?) dogs out towards the peak, but lots at the trailhead. Leash definitely required for the first bit.

Elevation is no joke, but plenty of places to refill water, so keep drinking!!

Side note: we stopped in Ned on the way home and ate at the Thai restaurant - killer $10 lunch deal!

Arrived at 5:15 am on Saturday and there were a lot of cars parked on the side of the road but still plenty of space. People can't seem to agree on which way to go- I decided to go counterclockwise and I'm very glad I did.

I have been up to Jasper Lake a couple of times but this is the first time I tried the loop. In my opinion the north side of the loop is more scenic. It's best to do it in the morning when the lighting is better and you still have energy. Also I like steep inclines more than steep declines as they're more exciting and less stressful on the knees. Saw a bull moose about halfway up to Jasper Lake. That was pretty terrifying as he was only 25 yards or so off of the trail hidden behind some trees. I snapped a quick picture and got out of there.

The trail is pretty easy. The distance is the hard part. I was feeling pretty haggard on the last 3-4 miles. Got back to the parking lot a little before 3PM. I probably could of finished at 2 if I hadn't of taken so many pictures.

Overall an awesome hike! My favorite one so far

Go to 5th lake. Its well worth it. Trail kinda disappears but its pretty obvious still.

Amazing views, beautiful lakes and low traffic after leaving the Adams Falls area. Difficult hike with many steps. But we’ll worth the trek!!

The views down by the lakes were incredible. The beginning of the hike is not as scenic, but was worth the wait.

Beautiful. 14 miles RT to lake #1. Last 2.2 miles are the only really steep section. Maybe add .8 to 1 mile to total if going to lake #2.

1 month ago

Hiked Saturday, 8/4- got there at 12 and there were a few open parking spots. Fairly strenuous, mostly uphill. I clocked it at closer to a little over 9 miles total. The lake is crystal clear and huge. Very cool to see the sand too. I give this 3 stars because, for me, it didn’t compare to many other hikes I’ve done in this area (especially for the effort). Glad I did it but don’t necessarily feel the need to repeat this one.

1 month ago

Nice wooded, shady trail with a beautiful lake at the end! Arrived at about 7:45 on Tuesday morning and there wasn’t much parking available because people go up and camp overnight. 4.5 miles to the lake wasn’t bad, and a lot of it was fairly flat. Lots of ripe blueberries along the top half of the trail! Lake was mostly quiet when I arrived around 9:30, but started to get busy by 10:30. Many nice campsites and pretty area to explore around the lake. Would do again!

1 month ago

What an amazing trail. We followed a river the whole time... my dog had a blast. No bikers, very few people - the falls at the top: beautiful

Just awful.
1. TH starts in residential area
2. No views until 5 miles in..
3. Until you’re 5 miles in, you’re walking over debris and dead trees..
4. Steady incline with no promise of a view at the top took the fun out of it

Trail is free of snow. It is almost entirely in the forest with few open views, but the forest is dense and beautiful. Pear Lake is especially lovely. Saw very few people on the trail on a summer Tuesday. Definitely not a hard hike, I would rate it as moderate--reached Finch Lake (5 miles per NPS) in under 2 hours and another 45 minutes to Pear Lake (2 miles from Finch Lake, 7 miles total per NPS).

Even though I did this hike on a Sunday in late July, I saw very few people until I returned to Monarch Lake at the end of the day. The scenery ranged from pleasant to spectacular, and the wildflowers near the lake were dense and colorful. It took me 3 1/2 hours to reach the lake, and another 2 3/4 hours to return. Highly recommended!

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