Finch Lake Trail

EASY 54 reviews
#49 of 179 trails in

Finch Lake Trail is a 7.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Allenspark, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, birding, horses, and snowshoeing and is best used from June until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

7.2 miles
1,519 feet
Out & Back



horseback riding







wild flowers


no dogs

This trail traverses a small part of the 1978 Ouzel Fire burn area

11 minutes ago

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.

1 month ago

Nice hike. There appear to be some discrepancies in this trail listing. As previous reviewers have stated, you can access this lake from two different trailheads: Allenspark trailhead (not part of RMNP, thus not subject to the park entrance fee), and from the Finch Lake trailhead in Wild Basin (part of RMNP, subject to the entry fee, and little parking). The map on All Trails actually shows it starting from the Allenspark trailhead (which also shortens the distance slightly). We actually made it to Finch Lake an entirely different way, for a 12-mile tour of Wild Basin: started from the Wild Basin trailhead, passed by Copeland Falls, Calypso Cascades, and Ouzel Falls, backtracked a mile to get to the connector trail that took us up to Finch lake (after 3.5 miles), then back down to the Fern Lake trailhead from there. The connector trail offered some amazing views of peaks that aren't easily available in other parts of the park, and we went through an incredible variety of scenery and terrain. I'd highly recommend this loop for a longer hike. Enjoy!

2 months ago

This was such a fun hike to do! It’s so pretty, and the lake is nice. We ended up going further up to Pear Lake which added four extra miles to the overall hike, and was so worth it! If you have good hiking stamina, I would recommend doing all of that.

Also, no snow on the way to Finch, but we did run into a few pockets on the way to Pear — not much though and we were fine with our low cut hiking shoes.

The other thing is: I wish Alltrails had this on their map, but you can actually get to Finch trailhead without entering the park and paying the fee. You just have to go on county road 90 to meadow mountain. My hiking book has this — so I would research this if you don’t want to pay $25 or risk not having a parking spot as this place fills up fast on weekends.

2 months ago

Awesome and somewhat quiet hike in RMNP. Steady climb for four miles, with a few steep spots, up to the lake. Lake is very nice with Mount Copeland in the background. Snow is almost gone and there are a few spots you are hiking in a stream. If you want to get away from the crowds at RMNP this is a good place to do it.

2 months ago

Took our 5 and 9 year olds on this hike. We didn’t make it to the lake but loved seeing little streams and wildlife. It was a bit steep in spots but still had a great time. We plan on packing lunches and trying again!

3 months ago

Great hike. Started out at May 15 2018 8AM from Allenspark trailhead. Not a soul on the trail. The 1st half of trail was pretty easy just uphill. Hit A lot if snow the rest if the way that was soft so sank above my knees with every step. Didnt necessarily need snow shoes but was a very wet hike. Finch Lake was gorgeous..worth the hike. The snow slowed me down. Didnt get back to trailhead until 4 pm. I would rate the 2nd half of the hike to the lake as medium to hard this time of year due too the amount of snow. On the return to the hike back to the trailhead the warmer temps made walking in the inbound snow footprints, sink in the snow slushy ones. Overall a great hike.

3 months ago

nice hike

4 months ago

Great hike, wear good hiking shoes. Our end point was at Ouzel Falls. Take some time to get closer to the bottom of the falls, well worth the extra time spent.

5 months ago

It is definitely uphill! I would consider it a moderate hike...

6 months ago

Started at winter trailhead. Windy. Seems no one has been up since last snow (Monday?!). Needed poles or traction till on backside. Then snowshoes after allenspark junction. No tracks after that -except us in snowshoes. Too deep to go without. And tired legs turned us back.

7 months ago

We started at Finch Lake trailhead. Micro-spikes weren't needed on the way up but recommended for descend. We used snowshoes about 2 miles to the lake but they weren't necessary.

10 months ago

This is only a 7.3 mile hike if you start from the Allenspark Trailhead. If you start at the Finch Lake Trailhead it says it is 10 miles round trip but my GPS clocked 8.8 to the lake and back. Also this was not an "easy" hike. It is definitely more on the moderate side with a steady 4 mile climb to Finch Lake. Nice hike through thick forest most of the way. An occasional nice shot of the Wild Basin area but no peak views. The lake is very nice and quiet with some nice peaks surrounding. It was very quiet the day we were there.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I'm glad we read the reviews so we had a glimpse into what to expect for our backpacking camping hike to Finch Lake.

We live at 900 ft elevation so we knew we'd have extra challenges. We set out for Finch Lake from Pine Ridge campsite on Wednesday. We got a late start (1130am) but knew we'd get rain. It rained the entire hike. Due to being out of shape and the intense rain the hike was challenging. This shouldn't scare anyone who's in shape or lives higher than we do. We walked into the lake valley in the clouds which was really neat for our 12 year old son. The weather cleared enough for us to set up camp and eat dinner. That evening we were able to see some of the mountains around the lake but in the morning we were able to confirm why we'd decided to do this hike/Camp. Completely worth it!!!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

A Beautiful lake. The mountains surrounding the lake were reflecting on the water. Saw a young beaver in the lake. The trail alternates between hard, moderate and occassionally easy.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I started at the Finch Lake trailhead in the Wild Basin area and it was up hill from there. Lots of up hill, and when you think you are done with going up hill, you go uphill. If I'm not mistaken it was up hill both ways...that's what I'm going to tell my kids anyway. Not easy as the rating suggest. Anywho...Good tree coverage and lots of rocks, so watch your step. I saw a lot of pretty wildflowers too. Because it rained most the day the trail was wet, slippery, and sloppy in spots. It was a beautiful hike.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

secluded is the word

we passed no one to and from the lake. the views going to the lake are all wooded so there is no panoramic views, but it was the most relaxing and secluded pine forest hike ive ever done. finch lake is beautiful and we did not have time to go on to pear lake unfortunately. i would recommend this hike for anyone that has done most of the more popular routes and are looking for less traveled paths.

PS - don't go into the water at finch lake - my wife pointed out leeches were all over lake bed

Monday, July 17, 2017

Beautiful hike. The trail up to Finch Lake is very wooded, so not much in the way of views, but the woods are very green and peaceful. There is a view of Longs Peak as you pass through an older burn scar. Above Finch Lake to Pear Lake the trail gets a bit more difficult. That last mile has a bit of water on the trail, and the last half-mile still has a few short snow fields to hike over. Pear Lake is stunning, you come around a corner in the trail and there the whole thing is.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Super. Finch lake is very accessible (prepare for wet feet). The upper Pear lake currently has a lot of snow.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

I ditto what josh said below, the last few miles after the burn scar are still full of snow so tread carefully. Stopped at this point as I kept falling inside the snow. The rest was great!

Monday, June 05, 2017

I started at the Finch Lake TH in Wild Basin region RMNP. There were only 2 other cars at that TH at about 9 AM start time. Nice!

The hike featured mostly dense forest with a couple openings to meadows, and landscape view north toward Long Peak and down into the valley where Ouzel Creek flows. Finch Lake was the main feature of course - a pleasant lake surrounded by dense forest and Mt. Copeland looking west. There was only one other group at Finch Lake. That's as secluded as it gets for a RMNP lake.

On the back back I highly recommend making it a loop and hike down into the valley (head toward the cascades at the only 3 way junction). Great views heading that way and you follow the creek out.

Note that the last 2 miles to the lake there was still 2 feet or more of snow. I had traction which helped. I slipped and fell once but I consider that a success lol. I did not have my waterproof boots so by the time I got there it look like I had already waded out into the lake. 42 inches of snow came down in Allenspark a couple weeks ago and seems it will be around for awhile.


Sunday, April 09, 2017

We thought there might be enough snowpack to get to Finch Lake without snowshoes, which was definitely not the case. Sections with drop-off made for more sketchy post-holing as the day warmed up and things got slushier, so we called it quits around mile two. It's still about 80% snow as far as we went, and not many folks have been out there; the trail was hard to distinguish.
In spite of that, it was a beautiful day and we found some great moose tracks. Bummer that we couldn't make it to the lake.

Monday, July 18, 2016

If you start from the Finch Lake Trail head, it's about 10 miles round trip. Heading out to the lake is almost all up hill which can be rough. The trail can be rocky. Absolutely a gorgeous hike. Fantastic views and the lake is stunning.

Monday, July 11, 2016

7/10/16 - not going to lie, this one kinda kicked my butt despite the rather easy elevation gain. Very canopied in the trees, two small stream crossings. Not very busy which was nice, lake is absolutely beautiful and very blue. You might as well hoof it to the lake because that is the highlight.

Monday, March 09, 2015

I went up hiking the next day. It was a sunny day, early in the morning. Then coming back through, it was still sunny. Lucky to get good pictures this day!

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Beautiful hike in the fall with all the aspen. Cloudy Day, but just right.

Monday, June 09, 2014

This was a nice moderate hike. It is mostly in trees. We went in early June and crossed several small streams from snow melt, and within a mile of the lake there were several patches of deep snow on the trail, but they were easily passable as they were packed or trekked through by previous hikers. The lake was beautiful and serene. Not many others around, which we like. We started from the Allenspark Trailhead about 9:45. Once we reached the lake, we had plenty of energy after a short lunch so we decided to walk 2 miles back to the split in the trail to visit the Calypso Cascades a couple miles on that trail. About halfway down on that trail there is a deep wash where the trail was washed out. You can still cross over to meet the trail, but it takes time, guts and caution. There is a safer route to the Cascades, so if you are looking for that, I'd recommend taking the Wild Basin trailhead. We got to the Cascades and a hiker recommended that we go on to the Ouzel Falls, which was just under a mile away. We were so glad we did, as it was the perfect ending to our adventure! It was larger than normal, supposedly, because of the extra snow melting this year. The bridge to view it was out, but you can climb around some boulders to get closer and a good mist! After a few stops to take pictures and talk, we headed back to our car at the trailhead and we estimated about 13 miles that we hiked. We made it back right around 5:00, dirty, a little wet, tired and accomplished!

Monday, November 04, 2013

One of my absolute favorite trails! A great combination of terrains and amazing views along the way. First trip up was in august-beautiful wildflowers everywhere we turned. Did it again a few weeks ago in the snow and just as equally breathtaking. The start is a climb, but well worth it and you get a nice respite after the initial climb with a nice aspen grove for a while. A little damaged from the floods and could get to the lake on this latest trip. I highly recommend this trail! Will do it again (and on to Pear Lake next spring)!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Great hike that covers several different environments. A moose was seen swimming on 8.13.12. First time to see one in the two years I've been hiking this trail.

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