Explore the most popular forest 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.

skiing
10 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

Hiked 3/8. Snow from the Moffat Tunnel mostly packed down first half. Lots of snow second half, recommend show shoes. We made it to the top without, with lots of post holing. About 2/3 into the hike, you come into an opening with 2-3 different paths, stay to the right, you will soon hike in between 2 sawed-off tree stumps, continue up hill through the small canyon to the lake! Amazing hike, beautiful trail! Ps Watch out for cross country skiers.

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike today 2/28. Trail was packed down until about a half mile from the lake. You can use just boots, slick in some spots so I used micro spikes. The lake is completely covered in snow. You can snowboard down the majority of the way. Lots of tree cover.

Great Winter Hike when weather cooperates.

6 months ago

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

hiking
6 months ago

-- Needed spikes for boots
-- Snowshoes are a very-nice-to-have
-- Orange hat/bright colors good to have as the hunters are present
There are multiple trails once you get past the meadow so be mindful of your direction.

Great hike with good views. Never disappoints.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful, but difficult hike.

I loved this trail. You won't regret hiking this trail, whether it be a day or three.

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.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice steady climb through fairly thick forest with a nice lake at the top. There is a trail around the lake and some nice spots for lunch. The parking lot is huge so even if the trail is crowded you should be able to find a spot to park. It was very busy in the parking lot over Labor Day weekend. However the lake at the top was pretty quite. Overall a nice hike.

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
8 months ago

Great hike! Beautiful Forrest views the entire way. Nice steady incline and lots of streams. The lake at the top was gorgeous, however I don't think we made it to the farthest lake?.. the flies at the top were kind of bad. The hike we did was at least 8 miles.

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
9 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.

hiking
9 months ago

Upper, lower Forest Lakes- not the prettiest lakes I've seen. Trail also is not my fav. Compared to Indian Peaks, which I love, James Peak wilderness is just ok, imho.

Moderate trail climbs steadily uphill, not particularly steep, meandering thru forest. No views. Not much views at lakes either. Lotsa pesky gnats made it unbearable to stick around the lakes for long. Wildflowers on the trail weren't that great but were somewhat better at the lakes. The paintbrush- scarlet & rosy, were beautiful. Other noteworthy flowers- Elephant Head. Fireweed & raspberry plants right at the beginning junction & Bog Wintergreen at the early marshy part.

Overall just an avg hike. Seen much better.

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.

hiking
10 months ago

I love the forests in Nederland. It smells wonderful, you get tree cover, and the pine needles make the trail nice and soft. This hike is easy to get to and beautiful the whole time. The columbines were pristine, and the lake is beautiful. The trail is extremely well kept and it allows for fast moving. The only downside is that there are never really any mountain views. Mostly forest.

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.

Beautifully maintained trail. There are river crossings over streams that barely need them.
No real views until the lakes. It's definitely worth it to go to the upper lake. It's a little over 8 miles round trip if you do.
No mosquitos. There were a lot of gnats for the first 1/4 mile, then no bugs.

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