Activities: Hiking, Backpacking
Closest City / Town: Rollinsville, Colorado
- Four miles south of Nederland, take a right (west) on County Road (“CR”) 16 (East Portal Road) out of the town of Rollinsville.
- After driving approximately five miles you’ll hit the Town of Tolland: take a left onto CR 4N.
- Follow CR 4N 3.5 miles; take a right onto National Forest System Road (NFSR) 353 (this road requires a high-clearance, 4 X 4 vehicle).
- Continue on NFSR 353 west for another 3.3 miles until you reach the James Peak Lake Trailhead.
Hiking Distance: Approximately 4 miles to the summit if you approach James Peak by going by Little Echo Lake (one way).
Description: Nestled at 13,294 feet in elevation, James Peak is a close escape from the Boulder/Denver metro area. Pikas, marmots, and wildflowers are abundant in the tundra. There are numerous high-alpine lakes, including Little Echo Lake and James Peak Lake, to setup camp and make the non-technical run at James.
James Peak Wilderness Area is 14,000 acres in sum. Congress designated the area as wilderness in 2002. Indian Peaks Wilderness Area is located directly to the north.
Worth Noting: If you have the time and have never been up to Saint Mary’s Glacier, you should definitely make the visit. It’s just a stone’s throw away from James Peak.