James Peak

  • James Peak
  • 4052 m
  • Primary factor 218 m
  • Colorado
  • In the Indian Peaks
  • Location: 39:51.12, West 105:41.42
  • Climbed November 4, 2000


How to get there: We left Interstate 70 at exit 238 (just west of Idaho Springs), took Fall River Road to a small road called 275 leading into an area with many mountain cabins. (Road 275 goes left a bit after the Fall River Road has climbed via switchbacks that are easily recognizable). After basically going straight on 275 passed a couple of intersections, the road to Loch Lomond goes right. This road becomes a 4WD road very quickly. When we were there (early November) the road also featured large snowdrifts one of which made us park and hike the remaining part of the road to the lake.
Route description: There are clearly many possibilities. We hiked along the lake to the creek that comes steeply down from the little valley heading west. We then followed the creek on the right hand side (north side) up to two small lakes a bit higher up. From here we hiked north and climbed the ridge, mainly because further progress up the small valley was hard due to substantial snow. This option may look very differently in summer. We followed the ridge line where the wind had removed most of the snow, providing easier hiking. Reaching a higher, quite level area we turned north and ascended the final meters to the summit. The mountain does not look very impressive from the (south) side we approached it from, however it is much steeper both to the west and to the north.
Comments: Pål Jørgen 11 and I did this hike on a nice Saturday that got off to a late start. We were in the vicinity of Loch Lomond around noon, hit the summit around 1515 and returned to the car around 1630 after a hike that turned out to be surprisingly strenuous, most likely due to the relatively deep snow that we hiked in the beginning. The view from the summit was exceptional, the continental divide and the Indian Peaks streching north all the way to Longs Peak. An unobstructed view east across the open, flat part of Colorado and good views of the next two 13000 feet mountains in the south, Mount Bancroft and Mount Parry.