Our Jeep got stuck while driving up this. Bring your backpack with a few snacks and some water, and take advantage of this beautiful hike especially in the fall when the aspen trees are changing colors. Rogers Pass Lake via South Boulder Creek Trail, Crater Lakes Trail via South Boulder Creek Trail, Lower Crater Lakes via South Boulder Creek Trail, James Peak North East Ridge via Little Echo Lake, Arapaho Lakes via Rogers Pass Trail and Forest Lakes Trail, Continental Divide: Loch Lomond to Berthoud Pass, Kingston Spur East via St. Mary's Glacier [CLOSED]. Just make your way to County Road 16 and continue on the dirt road for about 5-6 miles to reach the East Portal Trailhead of Moffat Tunnel. The three we suggest here are all Class 2, with our primary route offering some Class 2+ work on the descent. Nice hike. ... Winter Park and Mary Jane ski areas as seen by looking northwest from the summit of James Peak. Lakes are melted. Just head in the direction of the lake and you will find it eventually. However, a terribly marked trail. The James Peak Lake Trailhead lies above the timberline, at 11,600' elevation. There was still some snow on the trail. It's almost inaccessible unless you have a HIGH clearance 4WD vehicle. The area was lush and green, likely from the huge amounts of snow from last winter. there is parking at the trail head although the route is not for the faint of heart, running one lane on a ledge for the last half mile. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. The James Peak Lake Trail is located 9.0 miles from Central City, Colorado (CO) in Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest. What I have found is that the South Boulder Creek trail is incredibly difficult to follow. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September. James Peak Trail is a 8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Black Hawk, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. We were able to turn around and use the James Peak Wilderness directions we'd printed to find 353 wilderness route (which from 4 is staying left not going right at the fork). I'm not sure how else to get to the trail other than using the county road or Mosquito Creek Rd. I wouldn't try it unless you have high clearance 4WD! The area's elevation ranges from 9,200 feet to 13,294 feet and includes upper montane, sub-alpine and alpin… From CO-119 in Rollinsville, turn left onto Cnty Rd 16, Tolland Rd and head west for 5 miles. Getting there I passed a Chevy Van... so there's that. The area's elevation ranges from 9,200 to 13,294 feet. The views are phenomenal and and with a small add on you could venture over to Little Echo Lake. From the peak we were able to clearly see the Cameron Peak fire(s). There are trails on either side of the Glacier to help you get up it. We were unable to access the hike due to the rocky terrain. There is car traffic but it is low, maybe 1 car every half hour. Midsize SUV won't cut it as I found out through experience. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. This is a jeep trail with 5 miles of flat trail to warm up on and then an easy steady 8 mile climb to the top. The seasonal access gate is currently open, and for those of you thinking that's too far, set a trip odometer for your distance, it takes longer than you think to go the ~6.6miles from the main dirt road in town as you turn onto 4N. Great short hike with spectacular views of James peak, with an awesome hike around James Peak Lake. James is a peak of many options, with easy walks, a technical east face and an interesting ridge walk from neighboring Mount Bancroft. Unfortunately there was too much wind for me to wet a fly line. James Peak is a popular summer hike with several route possibilities. The views are great and the ride down is … Trail is clear of snow, but there are still a couple of pockets of snow in the shade along the trail. The trail at one point grazes the vertical east face of the peak, giving a dramatic alpine view. James was the first botanist to describe many of the plants of the Rocky Mountains. There is a $5 parking fee. Trail Ratings 3.5 from 4 votes #2 in Indian Peaks #252 Overall. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September. The James Peak Wilderness Area was designated in 2001, and comprises 14,000 acres. Wouldn't know how this hike is, couldn't access the trailhead. Hard hike back up the mountain but worth it! The park printed directions say it is 3 miles, it's farther than that - at 3 miles from the previous mentioned fork, we came to an overlook and a "seasonal road" sign, from there it was about another 1.5 miles to the trail head. I thought the volume of people trying to skid across that ice patch on skis on a Wednesday seemed ridiculous. Improvise your way to the markers and continue west on a well-cut path toward James Peak. The three we suggest here are all Class 2, with our primary route offering some Class 2+ work on the descent. There are several trail junctions marked only with cairns; at each of these, turn toward the summit. Download the free Empire topo map. Was here last weekend and they're aren't opening the pass until the July 15th.There's still one snow drift but great views and the lake is no longer frozen. nice to descend in the beginning of the hike but the hike out was a lung burner. We originally took the right, after a few miles of very slow going AWD driving we reached a private no trespassing gate. Access to this trailhead is only accessible from Rollinsville with a truck or something with a good ground clearance and preferably 4x4. But there are no bailouts (besides turning around) once on the CDT headed to Rollins Pass (aka Corona Pass). Parts were definitely moderate to hard, other parts were easy to moderate. Completed this trail on 9/27/2020. As you head up the east face of James peak you will see Loch Lomond, Reynolds Lake, Stuart Lake, Ohman Lake, and Ice Lake. Got to the TH at 8am on a Saturday. This trail is temporarily CLOSED due to the fire danger. If taking the road from Rollinsville, I would recommend a pickup and 4x4 just for peace of mind. On the way out I saw a Subaru, a few minutes later I saw them in my review mirror following me out. Beautiful trail, parked at saint marys glacier lot and it was about 4 hrs round trip. If you can make it to the top of the glacier, you can make it all the way (just might take a while). You can bring your dog on this trail but please keep them on a leash. This is a good alternative to hiking a 14er if you still want ‘the 14 experience’ but not the crowds. Mosquito Creek had a gate with a Private Property/No Trespassing sign. The trail head for the Crater Lakes hike in the James Peak wilderness is close by for a nice day hike up to two beautiful high Mountain Lakes. After 3 miles of off roading you arrive at a very clearly marked no trespassing, iron gate with 24 hour sercurity camera. The pin for this trail head location is no longer accurate, where it says to turn right on the 4x4 road you should stay left on 353 wilderness route. we ended up parking at the "seasonal road" sign and hiking into the trail head on 353. that worked well, we just needed to move over for dirt bikes and 4x4s as we approached the trail. It is an extremely popular peak and is a common first ascent for those who are interested in ski mountaineering. This trail does NOT want to be found. overall amazing hike though and now I have 2 13ers under my belt! I think calling St Mary’s Glacier a glacier is too generous. There are three or four stretches of the trail that has snow over it, but it looked good and I was able to cross in some flat-ish areas, making decent time down to the lake. As in there isn't a trail at all at some point. James Peak Lake Trail is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Black Hawk, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. beautiful trail and the lakes are clear. Forest Lakes - 7.8 Miles Round-Trip The Forest Lakes are located 3.9 miles from East Portal Trailhead in the James Peak Wilderness. 0 Likes Likes Please respect the National Forest closures. Other than the first pitch down from the parking area, the hike is pretty tame. But above the glacier it flattens out into alpine tundra with intertwining Jeep trails. But, being my first time to the area, I don't know for sure. It is located on the east side of the Continental Divide, between Beuthold Pass to the south and Rollins Pass to the north. Plenty of parking spots. That descent takes you by the upper lakes in the Loch Lomond chain of lakes. The glacier wasn’t as spectacular as I expected. Something worth noting - once we arrived back at the TH (sometime past noon), it was by far the most crowded trail / trailhead / parking lot that we had EVER seen. The view north-northeast towards Rocky Mountain National Park and Long's Peak. Snowshoes are definitely not needed if you follow the packed snow footprints/cairns. Hiking in Colorado - James Peak - Colorado mountain hiking and trail photos. I was able to get to the trailhead with a Jeep Wrangler on 31" tires but otherwise stock. Directions are way off. James Peak (13,294 feet) was named for Edwin James, an American physician and botanist who traveled to Colorado on the 1819 U.S. Army expedition led by Major Stephen Long. That being said, this is a 13er and the altitude and exposure to … When you reach the base of the obvious face of James Peak, which is a mix of tundra and rocks, the trail makes easy switchbacks but at a steeper grade. started at 6:30 (I would highly recommend getting there early) and we were one of 3 cars in the upper lot. Some of the best views around of the five lakes (Lomond / Reynolds / Ohman / Steuart / Ice), as well as great views looking northeast past James Peak Lake and Little Echo Lake. Posted at 00:48h in Colorado, Guides, Snow, Winter by Iana 0 Comments. 12/19/2020 - We couldn't access the trailhead. It was somewhat strange hiking downhill to my destination, but found it was worth every minute!BEing that you are at a higher elevation, that hike back out definitely got the heart pumping a little. It was crazy. Will attempt again in the future. James Peak Lake Trail From the James Peak Lake Trailhead, the James Peak Lake Trail drops 500 feet into the James Peak Wilderness to James Peak Lake, set in the basin below the east face of James Peak. General Information: The James Peak Wilderness encompasses 17,000 acres on the east side of the Continental Divide in Boulder, Gilpin, and Clear Creek Counties of Colorado. Getting up and around St. Mary's Glacier can be a little tricky, but doable. Awesome spot, dynamite scenery! James Peak Lake Trail is a 5.0 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Black Hawk, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. There is a $5 fee to park at this trailhead. absolutely beautiful! The trail head is marked with signage and is located on the edge of a treeless ridge. The James Peak area became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System in 2002. Crater Lakes Trail – James Peak Wilderness. Length: 6 miles round-trip The James Peak Trail is an 8-mile moderately trafficked hiking trail near Black Hawk and Rollinsville, Colorado. Dogs are also able to use this trail. 803 Ute Trail Trail on Little Echo Lake in James Peak Protection Area, Roosevelt National Forest, Arapaho National Forest, James Peak Wilderness 4.4mi 1.9mi from James Peak Lake Trailhead 87 St. Mary's Glacier Trail Trail in Arapaho National Forest 2mi 2.1mi from James Peak Lake Trailhead Views of high alpine peaks, James Lake, and stunted krummholz trees. Hiked / Skinned James Peak with Mr. Bean and we skied some fantastic summer ski turns. As you are likely aware (since you’re reading this) this becomes even more challenging after a good snow storm. That descent takes you by the upper lakes in the Loch Lomond chain of lakes. gorgeous! Accessing this route requires high clearance 4WD. The trail itself is a rural and rocky path that stays about 3 feet wide throughout the entire length, and eventually loops around James Peak Lake. Nearby Peak Searches: Radius Search - Nearest Peaks to James Peak Elevation Ladder from James Peak Prominence Ladder from James Peak James Peak on … We did get pelted by a few small hails. Peak-to-Peak Mileage Chart; 13ers; 360° Summit Panoramas; Map; Export Peak Names to File; Routes. As others mentioned, the first .5 mile is challenging. crampons were a huge help getting up the glacier. Parking at lot 1 was easy at 7am but there were no envelopes to pay the fee. The other two suggestions can be accessed by passenger car. It was pretty windy so, it didn't make for the best of hikes, but the views were amazing. It is separated from the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area by Rollins Pass. Compare elevation, range, calories and other trail metrics. North Crater Lake, a highlight of the James Peak Wilderness near Rollinsville Credit: Terri Cook Adventure Hike We Like: Crater Lakes. The beginning of the trail starts off a small parking lot off the National Forest System Road 353, also known as Kingston Peak Road. I got out before the traffic became heavy, around noon I began heading back down the hill and encountered 4 vehicles on my way. I could **maybe** see how you could do this hike without them but they are super useful. The trail follows the remains of a wagon road across the scree, but that does not mean it is not steep. Be careful not to follow the Jeep trails because they are misleading. If you’re headed to James Peak Wilderness from somewhere else in the state, you can easily find directions to the trailhead on Google Maps. Maybe 100 years ago it had more snow but today it looks like a sad dirty slab of ice. Hike was great. The trail at one point grazes the vertical east face of the peak, giving a dramatic alpine view. We made it about 2 miles up and had to turn around due to ominous dark clouds and possible storm. We arrived at 7am. At this rate, that snow may not melt off. Take this road for eleven miles toward Rollins Pass. Those that summit James Peak and return directly via the South Boulder Creek Trail will have a 13.5 mile day. Perhaps a camping trip is in order. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. This forested trail through the James Peak Wilderness leads to a pair of sparkling, trout-filled lakes nestled beneath the Continental Divide. 353 and continue for 3.3 miles to the James Peak Lake Trail. James Peak; View More Photos Summit: 13,294 feet : 39.85201°N,-105.6904°W Rank in CO: 405 of 637 13er Rank in CO: 352 of 584 13er Rank in Range: 32 of 59 Weather Information Peak Conditions (Last Report: 2020-12-05) 1,567 Member Ascents: 13ERS WITHIN 2 miles Boots would have been a better option than the hiking sneakers I used, but definitely doable if you don’t knee the ankle support. James Peak and vicinity has recently been made into a Wilderness Area. Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO, Aborted at the glacier due to dangerous winds. When you reach the base of the obvious face of James Peak, which is a mix of tundra and rocks, the trail makes easy switchbacks but at a steeper grade. Getting here is a bit gnarly, the road is definitely for high clearance vehicles. Super beautiful and a peaceful hike, hiked over to Little Echo lake as well and caught some fish. The trail itself has some snowpacks along it so be careful when passing through them. Micro spikes were helpful, but you could definitely do without. It's a rough mile to the lake at the moment, with high winds and weather coming in. A run that goes directly from Rogers Pass to Rollins Pass, skipping the trip to James Peak, will measure 16 miles. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Hike to the glacier is super quick and easy. There are a few large rocks on the road that most likely would be un-passable via car. Fished at both James Peak Lake and Little Echo Lake, and was rewarded with one lake trout from Little Echo Lake. There are several trail junctions marked only with cairns; at each of these, turn toward the summit. The trail begins at the top of a ridge and rapidly descends a rocky trail to the lake. Get ready for about 20-30 minutes of rough rocky terrain before you even get to the trailhead. You definitely need something with ground clearance to get to the trail. Really busy through st Mary’s but the crowds dispersed right after. This is a 15.9 mile loop hike with 6400 cumulative feet of elevation gain that takes about 7-10 hours to complete. There were only two spots which give this trail a 'hard' rather than 'moderate', and those were (a) hiking alongside the glacier to the top of the basin, and (b) the final stretch up the peak. In order to reach this trail, you’ll need to head southeast of Highway 40 to Rollin’s Pass Road, also labeled as County Road 80 or Forest Road 149. James Peak Lake Trail– A short downhill hike to James Lake, nestled at the bottom of 13,294 ft. high James Peak. The wilderness encompasses 17,084 acres with 15 lakes, 4 trails covering 20 miles, and crosses the Continental Divide at Rogers Pass. Hiking trip report for James Peak, Parry Peak, Mount Eva, Mount Flora Loop, located in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado. final push to the summit was difficult, but made it @ 9:55 and had it all to myself! Turn left onto Mammoth Gulch Rd., a rough 4WD road. From CO-119, turn left onto Cnty Rd 16, Tolland Rd and head west for 5 miles. 2.5mi Nearby Ski Lines. James Peak Trail is a 12.9 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Black Hawk, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The Heart Lake Trail, Forest Lakes Trail, and Crater Lakes Trail are all part of the James Peak Wilderness Area with their trailheads located at the Moffat Tunnel East Portal about 8 miles west of Rollinsville, Co, on the well-groomed dirt Tolland Road (also called East Portal Overall, definitely worth going up until you can get some cool shots of the five lakes; up to you if it's worth going all the way up to the top of James Peak. After 3.5 miles, turn on National Forest Rd. The first lake occupies a marshy flat below treeline; the second, much larger lake fills a deep bowl at treeline below Rollins Pass and the Continental Divide.There are several outlying ponds that require off-trail navigation to reach. We had maps downloaded to keep us on track as there were several off-shoots; the trail butts up to private land. Sunrise over James Peak I love the hike up to (or towards) James Peak and really enjoy coming up here in the winter. The trail will disappear at the jeep trail but there are several trail markers that will connect you back to it. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. We opted for the next road up, the county road. Got to the trailhead at 7:15am. The trail is difficult and offers some nice camping and backpacking opportunities. Stocking the lakes is … There is approximately 20 miles of trail. Overall a great trail, the distance is deceiving with the elevation in general and the elevation change. very steep, very rocky at first. Beautiful views! way back down was nice but the glacier was rediculously crowded, it didn't help that no one was wearing masks. The climb up the east face of James Peak is a classic Colorado high altitude hike. Beautiful area! Winds were about 40mph. By Terri Cook • June 26, 2018. The first mile or so to St. Mary’s Glacier was nice and mellow with a gradual incline. Beautiful area otherwise. It is relatively easy, requires no technical climbing, and access is quick and easy from the Front Range communities. Breckinridge Peak and Mount Flora via North Empire Creek, Red Elephant Hill to Empire Loop [PRIVATE PROPERTY], Rogers Pass Lake via South Boulder Creek Trail, Crater Lakes Trail via South Boulder Creek Trail, James Peak North East Ridge via Little Echo Lake, Arapaho Lakes via Rogers Pass Trail and Forest Lakes Trail, Continental Divide: Loch Lomond to Berthoud Pass, Kingston Spur East via St. Mary's Glacier [CLOSED]. The James Peak Wilderness was designated as wilderness in 2002 by an act of Congress and signed by George W. Bush. It is situated in Boulder, Gilpin and Clear Creek Counties of Colorado and is part of both the Roosevelt and Arapaho National Forests. The hike up to James peak was strenuous; lots of soft crumbly rocks made it difficult to get good footing. I wish there would've been more reviews about the road. snowshoes might be helpful as you get into the higher basin as the snow is very deep and there were some points where I was knee deep in snow, but I did the whole thing in just crampons and it was mostly fine. The trail drops 500ft in the first .5 miles, so be aware that in this case what goes down must come back up. Really bummed that we couldn’t summit - but we had to be responsible hikers and know when it’s our limit. The highlight of the trail, at least for us, wasn't the peak, but rather the views along the way. Before you reach the summit of James Peak you will pass two false summits. I brought my microspikes but never needed to use them. James Peak is best hiked from the Roger’s Pass Trail during the months of June through August. From the trailhead, the James Peak Lake Trail drops 500' over a half-mile to James Peak Lake, set in the basin below the steep eastern face of James Peak. Stock 4Runner had no problems driving in. The first part of the trail is pretty difficult, however i tore my acl 9 months before doing this and was still able to complete it relatively easy. When we came back down around 12:30pm, it was shocking how crowded it was around the glacier, lake, and parking!!!! James Peak Weather (Days 0-3): The weather forecast for James Peak is: A light covering of new snow mostly falling on Mon nightTemperatures will be well below freezing (max -8°C on Thu morning, min -21°C on Tue morning)Winds increasing (calm on Mon night, near gales from the NW by Wed afternoon). But, arriving at 8am, surprisingly there were only 7 other cars there. Accessing this route requires high clearance 4WD. Length 3.1 miElevation gain 807 ftRoute type Loop Definitely want a vehicle with good ground clearance. The steep trail follows the remains of a wagon road across loose rock. I’m not sure who is advertising this destination for backcountry skiing but they should stop. 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