South Boulder Creek (#900)

Photo of the South Boulder Creek Trail showing wildflowers and James Peak in the background

Length: East Portal Trailhead (TH) to: Heart Lake - 4.2 miles; Rogers Pass - 4.6 miles. DISTANCES ARE ONE-WAY.

Elevation: 9,211 feet at East Portal TH; 11,300 feet at Heart Lake; 11,060 feet at Rogers Pass Lake; 11,900 feet at Rogers Pass

Trail Description: From the East Portal Trailhead, follow the South Boulder Creek Trail around the north side of the train tunnel. The trail soon enters James Peak Wilderness Area. It is 1.2 miles on the South Boulder Creek Trail to the signed Forest Lakes Trail junction.

South Boulder Creek continues straight ahead, intersecting Crater Lakes Trail after another half-mile. The last 2.5 miles of trail roughly follows South Boulder Creek. The trail reaches a small pond, followed soon by Rogers Pass Lake. Traverse the ridge north of Rogers Pass Lake to overlook Heart Lake or to reach Rogers Pass and intersect the Continental Divide Trail.

Click here for a trail summary.

View a trail map here.

At a Glance

Permit Info: No permits are required at this time.
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: June through October
Restrictions: James Peak Wilderness restrictions apply:
  • Motorized equipment and mechanized transportation are prohibited.
  • Pets must be on a hand-held leash at all times.
  • Campfires are prohibited year round.
  • Campsites must be at least 100 feet away from water and trail.
  • Group size is limited to 12 (people and livestock combined).
  • Processed weed-free feed is required for stock.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles.
Fishing and hunting: permitted in accordance with regulations established by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Closest Towns: Rollinsville, Colorado
Water: Lakes and streams; treat water for drinking.
Restroom: Vault toilets at East Portal Trailhead
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service

General Information

Directions: From Nederland, travel south for 4.5 miles on Colorado Highway 119 to Rollinsville. Turn west onto the gravel Gilpin County Road 16 and continue eight miles to the Moffat Tunnel. A large parking area is available at the East Portal Trailhead.


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