A Stroll (yeah right) up Pear Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park
Pear Lake via Finch Lake Trail
As part of a weekend trip, my husband (at the time boyfriend) and I decided to do an overnight hike in Rocky Mountain Park. We went to the ranger station the day before to see if there were hikes they recommended. The rangers know the trails in their parks better than anyone. We wanted a secluded spot with a view by a lake. We were directed to Pear Lake. It was late July which is an awesome time to be high in the Rockies. The afternoons get warm but not hot, and the nights get cold but not freezing.
We started the hike, and I soon realized I was in for a long day. My boyfriend is naturally athletic so he was fine. I was in decent shape, but not 2,112 feet in 6.15 miles shape. It didn't help that I had blisters after about mile one. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of boots that fit!! The only things that kept me going were the view of the mountains and my boyfriend's constant encouragement. One of my favorite things about hiking in the mountains is knowing that the view is going to keep getting better. The higher you are the more mountains you can see. This trail was no different. The further we went the more beautiful the peaks and mountain lakes there were to take in. The sky was cloudy, but we had checked the weather day before and knew the chances for dangerous weather were slim. Still it's smart to keep an eye out and a rain jacket handy.
While the view was beautiful, the pain in my feet kept me from enjoying as much as I would of liked it. It was a steep trail with little relief. At Finch Lake, 4.5 miles in, we took a long break. It's a serene little lake surrounded by evergreen trees. Here I switched into my hiking sandals because I couldn't take the pain in my feet anymore; however, this is not recommended. One stray stick or rock and your foot is gushing blood. I will say it again, you need good boots!
Toward the end of the hike, it started lightly raining. It was late in the day, and I was happy to have my rain gear. When we finally climbed over the ledge that overlooked our campsite, every step of pain was completely worth it. Pear Lake is small and tucked up right under the tree line. It's surrounded by two ice-cold snow fed creaks. The nearest other campsite is Finch Lake, two miles away.
As soon as we laid eyes on the lake and repeatedly said, "its beautiful", my boyfriend knelt down on one knee and proposed. With the Rockies in the background I started crying and of course said yes. It was a wonderful evening. The next day was a breeze. The morning was brisk but after about an hour I was ready to get rid of my outer layer. Dressing in layers is key when hiking, especially up in the mountains when the mornings are cool, the afternoons warm, and rain could start pouring any time. I love hiking downhill, and we made it down in half the time it took to climb up. I noticed more of the trail because my feet didn't hurt as bad. Purple wildflowers dotted the trail, and we even passed a small pond covered in lily pads before we made it back to the trailhead. If you're looking for a casual stroll in the Rockies, this is not the trail for you. If you're looking for a little bit of a challenge and a secluded serene lake, Pear Lake is perfect!
- Rocky Mountain National Park - List of Hiking Trails (U.S. National Park Service)
List of Hiking Trails