The James Peak Wilderness encompasses 14,000 acres on the east side of the Continental Divide in Boulder, Gilpin, and Clear Creek Counties of Colorado. The area is named after its most prominent peak, 13,294 foot "James Peak," in honor of Dr. Edwin James, an early explorer, historian, and botanist who was a member of the famous Stephen H. Long expedition to Colorado in 1820. There is approximately 20 miles of trail. The area's elevation ranges from 9,200 to 13,391 feet at the summit of Parry Peak, which includes upper montane, sub-alpine, and alpine ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains adjacent to the Continental Divide.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the James Peak Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
James Peak Wilderness and Protection Area Act - Public law 107-216 (8/21/2002) To designate the James Peak Wilderness and Protection Area in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests in the State of Colorado, and for other purposes