Explore the most popular hiking 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.

the directions are off, make sure to follow 353 and go left at the fork after cr4 and it'll get you there. high ground clearance is needed. you start the hike above treeline and go down to the lakes. make sure to see the cabin and the second lake! we saw no one there but a few Jeeps on the road. so pretty and unique!

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike and great views. Finding a path up past the glacier was a little hard in the dark, but after getting through that part, the trail is well worn and easy to follow.

on Red Gate

16 days ago

Went the first day of October - peak color. Really beautiful trail and very flat, so good for small kids or elderly. Surprisingly not too busy for an autumn Sunday with great weather. The further you hike the prettier it gets!

great hike! we beat the crowds and hit the trail by 6am. The 'glacier' was really crowded when we got down around 11 am. Also, I lost a unigear microspike near the summit. If found please contact garethdickin@gmail.com!!

This is a gorgeous hike. It was well worth it to reach the lake. As we sat eating our lunch, I couldn't believe how beautiful it was and how remote it felt even tho' there were loads of hikers. I looked up at Rogers Pass and said let's do it so we wound up hiking up and over the pass and then looked down on Heart Lake which was stunning! Wow!

Loved it! We missed the trail to the glacier while coming back down through the flat tundra area. And my phone died. Of course. We found a different way down and it was a super fun and gorgeous day!!
I found this peak quite easy and a pleasant workout aside from locating the glacier trail in the flats lol.
Views are stunning!

hiking
25 days ago

4.5 hours to complete with my girlfriend and dumb yellow. Its a steady uphill walk from the intersection with Rogers Pass trail. But beautiful weather and cold water to play in (if you want). Always great views in this area if you like alpine lakes and high altitude excursions.

25 days ago

Beautiful! Crowd thins significantly as you start up the switchback and the lake at the end is worth it. The train tunnel can be heard clearly for the first half of the hike but it’s peaceful at the lake and what you do hear is more like white noise. The leaves were at varying degrees of color but the drive out to the trail itself is breathtaking. There’s tons of parking and when I got to the lake at 2 on a Sunday, I had the lake almost entirely to myself. There’s also some great dispersed camping as you approach the lake!

on Forest Lakes Trail

26 days ago

Loved this hike! Must go to the 2nd lake! Sooo worth it!

hiking
27 days ago

Beautiful fall hike . Fairly peaceful . Easy to follow trail. Second lake made a great spot for our hammocks . Didn’t see any wildlife though

30 days ago

GORGEOUS. no one is after the glacier. great hike!

1 month ago

A mostly easy woodland trail through some private conservancy areas as. Well as public lands. It was just what we were looking for—a hike with not too much altitude or difficulty. Located near a neighborhood, the trail is shared with family groups, walkers, and cyclists.
Map of location needs refining to show trailhead at on intersection of Mulligan Street and Rainbow Road. Complex of trails offers many variations. The part we walked offered only a few great views—mostly trail wound through mixed woodland (spruce, Aspen, and pine—some killed by pine beetle).

One of my favorite hikes for sure! Less crowded than Crater Lakes and so beautiful! Only saw a couple people on the trail and a few campers set up around the first lake. Make sure you hike up to the second lake and go off the trail slightly to find the third mini lake. I was jealous of the campers set up around the lake and wish I had packed my tent and stove to stay the night.

Beautiful hike with plenty of parking at the base, even at 8:30 am on a gorgeous Sunday in September.

Great views in route and at summit. The trail presented is not accurate at 4wd road crossing. There are only wilderness signs on west side of road, no trail today. We took the 4wd road north to an established trail that goes west and merges to a summit trail. Another trail descends from simmit towards Alice. We explored that route and haf to tske with an unmarked and closed 4wd trail that goes east towards st marys and the illustrated trail. We eventually went off trail to go east and find the trail to st marys. The all trails presentation might be a snowshoe route or an older route before wilderness designation closed a trail.

Beautiful terrain, very little foot traffic. I was the only one hiking this trail for the first couple hours this morning. I left St Mary’s trailhead at 7:15am and summited around 9:45. Beyond the St Mary’s trail it was tough to navigate the proper James Peak trail but there is a big dirt road that you can veer to the left and eventually find the smaller trail on the right for James Peak. Once on the trail, it was very well maintained and easy to navigate. I’ve lived in CO all my life and hiked lots of 14ers but I enjoyed this 13er the most!!! Beautiful and stunning views!!

1 month ago

this one is nice and flat, obviously for mountain biking but as long as you are aware of your surroundings passing bikers is easy. nice trees for hammocking and really rewarding with the views for how flat it is. You could go for a long time on this trail. I made it just passed the scenic viewing area of bottle peak with the bench along the creek and turned back after hammocking. overall about 4 hours.

hiking
1 month ago

This was one of the most beautiful hikes we have done. The weather held up, and the fall colors were just beginning. The hike is along what looks like an old wagon road all the way down from the pass. The views of Winter Park and the Fraser Valley were outstanding, and once near the pass, the James Peak and the other mountains were right there. On the other side of the pass, the terrain changed and Heart Lake looked very cool. Really liked this hike. Round trip for the hike was a little over 3 hours. One important note: the road to the trailhead is very rough for the last 5-6 miles. High clearance or 4-wheel drive is a necessity.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! The first mile, before you hit the junction for Forest Lakes and Crater Lakes, is easy. Once you hit the junction, it's a pretty steady incline all the way up. Great hike for dogs since there is a fair amount of creeks throughout the trail, and the trail is basically in the woods the entire time. The views from the first and second lakes are wonderful!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike! Such a beautiful trail with lots of water crossings, beautiful views and 2 lakes. The first lake is pretty, however, the second hike is worth the extra 3/4 of a mile up. Amazing peak views from the top lake and the water is a beautiful clear green. The hike is great for dogs, however, be aware as moose live in the area. We say a mama and baby a mile into the hike and a large bull moose on our hike down. It took us 5 hours round trip to the second lake and back to the car with about an hour of stopping at the top lake and for watching moose.

backpacked in three weeks ago with my daughter, son, soon to be son-in-law and their friends for my daughter's wedding at Heart Lake. Perfect weather, absolutely breathtaking views. Lots of day hikers & backpackers that weekend, but we arrived early for a perfect campsite. extremely memorable weekend! so happy to be part of the experience!

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike on a Sunday morning and it was great! Steady climb but not bad and well worth the lake views. Some decent wildflowers around the lakes... would definitely recommend it!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked James Peak this morning (8/26/2018) started around 6:30am from the St Mary’s glacier parking Lot. Had some 15ish mph winds in the face traversing through the upper glacier and onto the main trail, but it died down quickly. I managed to summit just before 9am and the wind was much kinder on the way down. Spent about 15-20 Mins at the summit, only a small group was there, but passed about a dozen more on their way up during my descent. I was back at my car at 10:50am. Round trip I hit 8.5 miles. It was a great hike with great views, you’ll see several lakes by the time you are done. I strongly recommend trekking poles and micro spikes for the glacier. I know some reviewers mentioned the lack of signage/hard to follow trail, which I somewhat agree with. I kept AllTrails’ map on for most of my hike which helped tremendously. Plenty of Cairns visible once you get to the switchbacks.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful forest trail with lots of creek intersections. It is pretty steady uphill after the first mile and a half or so. Good workout! When you reach the first lake, you can continue on to the second lake by following the trail up for an extra 3/4 of a mile. Definitely worth it! The upper lake has a beautiful blue/green hue and is crystal clear. On a Saturday at 11:30, us and another couple were the only people up there. There’s plenty of parking in the lot but we didn’t pass many people on the trail at all. With the extra haul to the upper lake, this ran closer to 9ish miles for us.

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty moderate hike, low traffic despite how the parking lot looks and great for dogs! Make sure you head up to the 2nd lake, as the trail map on here ends at the first one and that's where the real views are!

Can't access trail head

Backpacked this Saturday night and stayed at that little lake above Rogers. Parking at the TH was busy per usual. We counted 10-15 total tents around Rogers and Heart and that was probably inflated due to the meteor shower that night.

Overall, busy trail but can find some solitude the further you go. Many fish (cutthroat) at Rogers.

hiking
2 months ago

I think this is my favorite hike of the summer. Stunning upper lake, it was empty when we were there on a Thursday afternoon. Lots of wildlife, and great weather.

Rough, hard and aggressive trail both up and down. Not for a beginner...a lot of straight up with steep switchbacks. If you’re a moderate hiker at least 4 hours to summit peak. Recommend sturdy hiking boots and trekking poles. Navigation is a little tough...follow cairns higher up and pay attention to surroundings as there is little signage.

hiking
2 months ago

I did this hike on 7/28/18 and I agree with Weston. This trail was NOT easy to follow. I got off trail twice on the way up. You will run into forks on several occasions and have to use your best judgment due to there being no signage at any juncture. I hiked 6.75 miles to the summit, and 5.75 on my way down. It was the most beautiful summer hike I’ve done in Colorado. I had a great time. Hiking the glacier was incredible and I had to put on my spikes. I arrived at 6am and did not see a soul until the last push towards the summit. To make this hike even better, I was greeted by a white, male mountain goat at the summit! When I got back down to the glacier, there was a large crowd (~11:30am). People were skiing and sledding down the glacier, and others were swimming and cliff diving into the glacier lake. This place is so much fun! I will definitely go back. Don’t forget to bring $5 cash for parking!

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