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James Peak via Saint Mary's Glacier

Intermediate
 4.3 (6) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

8.2-mile hike of Saint Mary's Glacier and James Peak.


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Map Key

4.4

Miles

7.1

KM

Point to Point

13,181' 4,018 m

High

10,419' 3,176 m

Low

2,802' 854 m

Up

40' 12 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

45%

Max Grade (24°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Fishing · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

James Peak Wilderness Rules apply. Parking on the County Road 275 will get you ticketed.

Overview

From the trailhead, there is a moderate incline until you come out above the glacier. The next mile is through tundra, entering James Peak Wilderness. Fantastic mountain range views and great wildflowers in the basin while making the approach to James Peak. Once at the peak, it provides a great 360-degree view of the Front Range mountains. Deer, birds, marmots, and fox are prolific in the area early in the morning.

Need to Know

$5 cash only fee for both parking lots - no parking on CR275.

Description

The trail begins on a wide rocky road - stay left at all the offshoots. You'll quickly ascend and arrive at Saint Mary's Lake. Continue across a bridge and make your way up the glacier. There are multiple options - with good traction you can go straight up the glacier or if you do not have good traction, there are trails along either side of the glacier.

Follow the well-defined trail until you come across the jeep road where you'll need to continue straight and cross the tundra - there is not a defined trail. You'll meet at the CDT. From this point, the trail is clearly defined to the summit. As you ascend the trail you'll come into view of Loch Lomond, Ice Lake, Mt. Flora, Bancroft, Perry, and Eva, as well as Mt. Evans, Bierstadt, and Gray's and Torreys to the south.

The trail from the tundra basin heads up parallel with the ridge and cuts north just before mile 4. You may need to cross a snow field dependent on the time of year once the trail turns away from the ridge.

Contacts

Shared By:

Chelsea Taylor

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 6 votes

#1

in St. Mary's

#2340

Overall
  4.3 from 6 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in St. Mary's

#325

in Colorado

#2,340

Overall
264 Views Last Month
2,349 Since Aug 9, 2019
Intermediate

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Photos

View looking west from James Peak
Jul 3, 2020 near Winter…, CO
St. Mary's Glacier Lake in October
Oct 10, 2019 near Central…, CO
St Mary's Glacier. with permission from dreamer 200
Aug 15, 2016 near Central…, CO
Yep, that is James Peak behind David. No, you cannot see it.
Apr 4, 2017 near Winter…, CO
St. Mary's Glacier
Mar 13, 2019 near Central…, CO
April can still bring heavy snow to St. Mary's Lake.
Apr 4, 2017 near Central…, CO

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 4 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Aug 2, 2020
Michael Garcia
Jul 31, 2020
David Hikes
Perfect weather, climbed the glacier
Jul 25, 2020
Michelle A
Jul 18, 2020
Dwayne Nesmith
Beautiful day with a bit of wind. Views for miles. 8.8mi — 6h 17m
Jul 11, 2020
Noah Lucas
Hike with Taylor and Christine 7.8mi
Jul 3, 2020
Patrick Csongei
superb weather in the morning. very few people up above the glacier when I was up that way. summited around 8:45am and saw many more hikers on my w… 8.3mi — 3h 00m
Jun 27, 2020
Sam Brown
Sep 20, 2019
Rachel Pisula
Not sure how many miles we did. We followed the Jeep road to the right, which sounds like the wrong way. — 4h 00m