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Indian Peaks Wilderness

James Peak Wilderness Area

Government information and links are at the bottom of this page.

Located in Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests

Neighboring towns: Boulder, Granby, Tabernash, Grand Lake, Allenspark, Raymond, Peaceful Valley, Ward, Fraser, Winter Park, Eldora

In August 2002, the James Peak Wilderness Area was officially dedicated. The Congress designated the 14,000-acre area, which straddles the Continental Divide in Boulder, Clear Creek, and Gilpin Counties. The legislation also added 3,000 acres to the nearby Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and created a 16,000-acre James Peak "Protection Area" encompassing the 7,000 acres of the James Peak Roadless Area in Grand County and other adjacent National Forest land. The legislation prohibits mining, timber cutting, new road building and land exchanges in the James Peak Protection Area.

The James Peak Wilderness Area is an alpine wonderland with sweeping views, several majestic peaks, and numerous sparkling lakes.  This high-elevation wildland forms the headwaters for the Fraser River, South Boulder Creek and North and West Forks of Clear Creek. Elk, deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, black bear, and ptarmigan call this place home; the area’s mixture of alpine meadows and forests of Englemann spruce, subalpine fir, and lodepole pine also provides outstanding habitat for several imperiled species including the Canada lynx, wolverine, northern goshawk, pine marten and boreal toad.  In addition to its ecological values, the James Peak area, located only 1½ hours from Denver, provides excellent opportunities for recreation, challenge and solitude for many Coloradans.  This spectacular place clearly deserves full wilderness protection and has been proposed for protection by citizen groups for many years.  Bordered by Indian Peaks Wilderness to the north and the Vasquez Wilderness and Vasquez Roadless Area to the west, the James Peak Wilderness Area was a missing link in the chain of protected lands reaching from Wyoming down the Continental Divide into central Colorado.

Size: 14,000 acres

Elevation: 9,200 to 13,294 feet

Miles of trails:

Year designated: 2002

Hunting areas:

For more information contact:

Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth St., Boulder, CO 80301  303-541-2500

Clear Creek Ranger District, 101 Chicago Creek Road, PO Box 3307, Idaho Springs, CO 80452   303-567-3000 

Wilderness sunset




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