The James Peak area became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System in 2002. James Peak was named for Edwin James, an American physician and botanist who traveled to Colorado on the 1819/1820 U.S. Army Expedition led by Major Stephen Long. Along the way, James was the first botanist to describe many of the plants of the Rocky Mountains. The 17,000-acre James Peak Wilderness is located within the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests within Boulder, Gilpin and Clear Creek counties. Adjacent to the Continental Divide on the eastern slope, the James Peak Wilderness Area includes several peaks over 13,000 feet and more than a dozen sparkling alpine lakes.
Check for specific rules and regulations in the James Peak Wilderness on its rules and regulations page. Permits are not required for camping in the James Peak Wilderness area, as they are in the nearby Indian Peaks Wilderness area.