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blueBlack South Boulder Creek Trail


5.0 mile 8.0 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 2,762' 842 m
Descent: -78' -24 m
High: 11,896' 3,626 m
Low: 9,211' 2,807 m


Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)


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Map Key

A relatively quiet trail, South Boulder Creek is an epic journey to the CDT.

Tom Robson

Features River/Creek · Wildlife

Campfires are note allowed. Permits are not required for overnight stays inside the James Peak Wilderness. However, other wilderness regulations apply. Access to the East Portal TH is available year round.


From the northwest corner of the parking area, continue for 1.2 miles on the South Boulder Creek Trail #900 to the signed Forest Lakes Trail junction. Continue straight on the South Boulder Creek Trail. The Crater Lakes Trail turns right (north) off the South Boulder Creek Trail at the junction sign. Again, continue straight on the South Boulder Creek Trail.

The trail leaves the creek for a time then returns, climbs, and crosses the South Boulder Creek at several points before leveling off near Rogers Pass Lake. An obvious path leads beyond this lake to a saddle. From here, both Rogers Pass Lake and Heart Lake are visible. The South Boulder Creek Trail climbs steeply up several switchbacks to Rogers Pass. Adventurous hikers can turn south for a climb up James Peak or north, along the Continental Divide Trail to Rollins Pass.

From Rollins Pass, hikers can loop back to East Portal Trailhead by continuing easterly along the road and traversing the blocked Needles Eye Tunnel. Once over the tunnel and back onto the road, travel south to the upper Forest Lakes Trailhead. The Forest Lakes Trail connects back to the East Portal Trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

You're likely to see a moose here.

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Aug 25, 2018
Sean Conlin
Turned off on the Crater Lake trail. Very enjoyable hike! 1.9mi
Jul 31, 2018
Rebecca Falgoust
Jul 7, 2018
Cody Robinson
Beautiful hike. Fairly busy at start. We ran into a nasty swarm of mosquitos about 2.5 miles in. Bring bug spray. 5.2mi
Jun 24, 2018
Amanda Hartt
Gorgeous day. Snow was pretty much gone except for a patch here and there. 10mi
May 4, 2018
Daylene York
Jul 14, 2017
Erin Helgren
The climb up to the lakes was the hardest part it seemed, but beautiful. I stayed overnight near Roger's Lake, and went up to the pass the next morn. 12mi
Jul 4, 2017
Matt Muller
Some mud and snow near the top
Jun 24, 2017
Lesly Doyle

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 7 votes


  4.1 from 7 votes
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in Colorado


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