Idaho Springs, CO
You will need to cross a unique “glacier” to reach this centerpiece of a newly designated Wilderness Area. This hike to James Peak is unusual because it involves crossing 0.3 miles of St. Marys Glacier. While scientifically speaking not a true glacier, this perennial snowfield is very popular with skiers, snowboarders and classes for mountaineers-in-training, who come here to work on their off-season skills and techniques. James Peak lies on the Continental Divide, with the CTD passing over the top, and forms part of the boundary between three counties. It is also the centerpiece of a newly (2003) designated Wilderness Area. The mountain honors the early botanist, Edwin James, who was the first person to climb Pikes Peak in 1820. While James never climbed his namesake, the name is somehow fitting in that he was struck by the tiny alpine forget-me-nots he found, and wondered if their intense blue color was somehow a reflection of the sky. In July, as you pass over James Peak’s tundra-covered slopes, notice the thousands of these sweet scented flowers, and perhaps wonder the same.
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Directions to: James Peakprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Nearby City||Idaho Springs|
|Elevation Gain||2,969 ft|
|Duration||142 minutes up, 96 minutes down|
|Season||Early July to late September|
|Trailhead Elevation||10,385 ft|
|Top Elevation||13,294 ft|
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