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James Peak to Rollins Pass Loop

Difficult
 4.5 (8) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A big loop from Rollins Pass including James Peak and the CDT.


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Map Key

21.3

Miles

34.3

KM

Loop

13,248' 4,038 m

High

9,216' 2,809 m

Low

4,886' 1,489 m

Up

4,886' 1,489 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

42%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Overview

This hike goes past creeks and along alpine meadows and lakes to reach Rogers Pass, continues south to the summit of James Peak, then turns back north along the CDT: South Boulder Creek to Rollins Pass and returns via the Forest Lakes Trail. The loop also presents several shorter options.

Description

From Moffat Tunnel, the South Boulder Creek Trail takes you above the treeline to Heart Lake and the continental divide at Rogers Pass. After reaching the pass, follow the trail south, along the west side of the divide until reaching the final summit push for James Peak.

After summiting the peak, return back to Rogers Pass, then continue north along the CDT: South Boulder Creek to Rollins Pass. If following the CDT be aware there is not actually a trail, but you'll just be following a series of posts/cairns along the ridge. In a few sections there are faint trails. The posts are easy to follow but it is slow going. Once there, follow the Rollins Pass (aka Corona Pass) road to a side trail up and over the Needle tunnel to the Forest Lakes Trail, taking that back to where you started.

This run also provides shorter options. Turning around after first reaching Rogers Pass results in a 9 mile run. Those that summit James Peak and return directly via the South Boulder Creek Trail will have a 13.5 mile day. A run that goes directly from Rogers Pass to Rollins Pass, skipping the trip to James Peak, will measure 16 miles. But there are no bailouts (besides turning around) once on the CDT headed to Rollins Pass (aka Corona Pass).

Flora & Fauna

Lots of wildflowers.

Contacts

Shared By:

Michael Reschly with improvements by Gavin Coombs

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 8 votes

#863

Overall
  4.5 from 8 votes
5 Star
63%
4 Star
25%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#167

in Colorado

#863

Overall
713 Views Last Month
8,392 Since Jul 6, 2018
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Photos

Upper Forest Lake.
Oct 23, 2016 near Winter…, CO
The view from Needles Eye.
May 3, 2015 near Fraser, CO
View looking west from James Peak
Jul 3, 2020 near Winter…, CO
Northern view from Rogers Pass
Jul 6, 2018 near Winter…, CO
Upper Forest Lake in October.
Oct 17, 2016 near Winter…, CO
Wooden bridge on Rollins Pass.
May 3, 2015 near Fraser, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 22 hours ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jul 1, 2020
Lauren Vallee
James Peak via South Boulder Creek trail was clear of snow, windy at top. No issues. 13.7mi
Sep 28, 2019
Andres Fernandez
Did a loop to James peak past Heart Lake, up to the pass and then down and over closer to Nebraska hill. Rejoined trail at 3.2 miles 13.1mi — 7h 00m
Aug 10, 2019
Chris Ferraro
Great trail. Did it CCW. 2h @ CDT. 3.5h @ BCT. 4:20 @ JP Summit. 5h @ BCT. 2L Gatorade was just enough. 1 probar, 1 larabars, nuts. — 6h 30m
Jun 5, 2019
Cate Johnson
At trailhead — 8h 20m
Jan 27, 2019
Amanda Byrne
Snow shoe with Jenn and Alexis.
Sep 7, 2018
Elias Miller
24.5mi