Explore the most popular birding trails in James Peak Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

mountain biking
2 days ago

A network of many trails in this area, many intersections to keep choosing from. Nice easy trails to relax on. One though had several downed trees at the end of May. Lots of shade. Great views when the trees clear.

skiing
16 days ago

Skinned up and skied down. Great snow conditions all the way up. Snowshoes are needed as the sun warms up the snow as the day goes on.

hiking
1 month ago

When up to the start of the ascent and decided not to do the peak. Wind was super strong. No one else was out on the mountain. Snowshoes were extremely helpful (yay Revo Ascent!). Crampons and spikes were not needed on the glacier, though the hike from the parking lot to the lake had some pretty slick spots, especially for non-hiking shoes. Boyfriend brought his skis and took a few runs down the glacier.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a great hike. Took me about 3 hours 45 to the summit and 1 hour 15 to get back down. Crampons would have been great to get up that glacier. Had to stick to the rocks on the north side to get up which then caused me to miss the trail through the open space. Not a problem really though if you can identify the peak and cross. Was able to locate cairns to the top. The hardest part may have been getting back down the glacier without crampons. I basically skied down with my boots. The wind was a huge factor. Great hike overall.

Great Winter Hike when weather cooperates.

We hiked this two summers ago. Overall it’s a beautiful and difficult hike but takes some bushwhacking to find the trail. Hiked up St Mary’s glacier (microspikes might have been helpful but we didn’t have any), the trail continues for a bit and then abruptly stops at which point you have to bushwhack/trailblaze a little to get to the “next” trail that takes you up to the peak. I’d HIGHLY recommend marking a GPS coordinate at this point, or leaving a piece of fabric you can pick up on your way down. We failed to do this and hiked past the point we originally bushwhacked through and ended up a fair bit off trail. The majority of the trail is also above tree line so be sure to hike early.

6 months ago

This is a easy hike. It’s a beautiful walk in the woods.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful, but difficult hike.

Hiked this awesome peak with great views (Saint Mary's Lake and Glacier and about 8 or so lakes you can see from the trail and peak) on 9/8/17 with the Boulder Social Hikers Meet-up Group. We had fun and I plan to hike it again next year.

Bit gnarly at first... epic views.

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 originally took the right, after a few miles of very slow going AWD driving we reached a private no trespassing gate. 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). 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. 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. 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.

8 months ago

This is a gorgeous and difficult hike. You first have to ascend to the lake, then the glacier and finally the mountain itself. After crossing the road, look for a large brown sign, its a little ways west of the road, the trail is there. Their are a few false summits so stay strong. If I can do it you can.

8 months ago

Fun for all and four legged family!

hiking
9 months ago

Came up St. Mary's glacier. Lost the trail when we reached the 4wheel drive road. Figured it out 2 miles later. Lol. Got to the top and was happy!!! It's a tough hike. Caleb(11) was tired and got a headache coming down. Next time I bring kids Tylenol!! Reward with BeauJo's pizza!!!!

Definitely one of the most beautiful hikes I've been on! You'll wanna start early, bring $5 for parking and either poles or snow shoe clamps to get up saint marys glacier. I saw multiple people who were unable to complete just the beginning portion of the glacier because they didn't have the right gear for hiking in the snow. It was a challenging hike but the views were worth it, I'll for sure do it again!

Just back from this hike. Quite breezy. From above the glacier the trail is a good highway unlike some 13ers like Square top. Yaked on summit for almost a half hour and got cold.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful trail, absolutely breathtaking. Hiked up St. Mary's glacier to James Peak. Highly recommend starting early. We started about 7:30 and didn't get down till about 12:15.

I wish there would've been more reviews about the road. We were unable to access the hike due to the rocky terrain. I wouldn't try it unless you have high clearance 4WD! Beautiful area otherwise.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful hike that had a lot of variety. The trail was not too technical and only had a few brief sections of skree. Great views. I would definitely suggest bringing crampons and maybe hiking poles too. My biggest complaint against this trail is that there are zero trail markers. There wasn't even a sign at the beginning that said "James Peak Trail". Instead, I just headed towards St Mary's Glacier, but this trail is also completely unmarked and has many forks. Follow the large boulders and wider route and simply look for the snow on the mountain above you. Once you reach the glacier, just start to climb. At the top you will be able to see cairns. Follow them. However, once you reach the off-roading trail, the James Peak trail disappears. This required some minor trudging through mountain tundra until we could reach the trail about 200 yards away (again, just look for the cairns). Main theme here: Just look for cairns. I found the main route published on this site to be entirely inaccurate. Instead, follow the recent recordings listed on this page. They were much more helpful.

Although the trail was unmarked it was still beautiful! I would absolutely recommend. Just make sure your phone is fully charged and you have this map pulled up before you lose service.

Wouldn't know how this hike is, couldn't access the trailhead. This trail does NOT want to be found. It's almost inaccessible unless you have a HIGH clearance 4WD vehicle. Midsize SUV won't cut it as I found out through experience. Get ready for about 20-30 minutes of rough rocky terrain before you even get to the trailhead

hiking
10 months ago

Great bike trail and walking trail however I would not hike here if you are looking for a moderate level...I would say this should be classified as easy. Really pretty trail...lots of tall trees.

hiking
10 months ago

Was 4.3 miles from lower parking lot to peak. First section until in the flats past the glacier is quite the workout. From there to the peak it was a pretty straightforward high altitude Colorado hike. Plenty of amazing views. One tip: bring your crampons. No sense making the glacier crossing any trickier than it needs to be.

I did this hike with my dog in the beginning of June. There was a lot of snow, and I didn't use any gear. But you could hike around the Glacier to avoid most of it. It's a beautiful hike! The temp at the top is a lot more chilly than at the trailhead. Bring $5 for parking though.

hiking
11 months ago

Climbed James Peak yesterday and was absolutely beautiful--gaiters and trekking poles are a must to navigate the amount of snow. Didn't feel like I needed to use crampons or ice axe at all. It's melting fast so the afternoon was super slushy.

hiking
11 months ago

Would've been a gorgeous day for a hike, but due to the late spring storms, snowshoes or backcountry gear is very much needed for this trek.

snowshoeing
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Great snowshoe expedition! Definitely need them unless you're keen on postholing up the last mile. Cover up to protect from sun/wind exposure on most of the trail. If you miss the cairns (which are hard to see), hugging the false summit to the right and then ascending the ridge is a good route too.

hiking
Friday, February 17, 2017

Snowshoeing to Mt Flora was no problem with snow on the final approach being sparse, so we took off our snowshoes for the final up. Taking your time over crusting snow and slope is important in the winter months. Stay high and safe.

hiking
Tuesday, February 07, 2017

I took this trail as far as Mt. Flora this past Sept. It had just snowed the night before so there was a couple inches on the ground. The first .8 of a mile does follow the service road to Colorado Mines Peak. Then the trail to Mt. Flora and beyond breaks off at the 4th switchback of the road. Pretty easy walking and the bulk of this hike is above tree line. Good views back towards Winter Park, and a 360 degree view when you reach the top that is well worth it. It appears the rest of the hike beyond Mt. Flora would be a series of peak to saddle to peak to saddle sections, following ridge lines. May have to return to go further next time.

hiking
Sunday, October 09, 2016

Beautiful hike! There were patches of snow all the way up, so had intermittent problems with route finding. The distance is 7.8 miles round trip.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beautiful hike. Went up the St. Mary's glacier side. It starts steep and rocky all the way until you get up past the glacier. It was a little hard to follow the trail from there. Just look for the cairns that are stacked high. There is a gorgeous view of Evans, Bierstadt, Gray's, and Torrey's, and you can see all the way out to the flatlands. We had to stop about a quarter mile short of the peak due to weather, but will definitely come back to finish!

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