The James Peak Wilderness was included into the National Wilderness Preservation System in 2001. James Peak (13,294') was named after Dr. Edwin James, an American physician and botanist who traveled to Colorado on the 1819-20 US Army Expedition led by Major Stephen H Long. Dr. James was the first botanist to properly describe many of the plants found in the Rocky Mountains.

The 14,000-acre James Peak Wilderness is located within Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest. On the eastern slopes of the Continental Divide, the James Peak Wilderness includes several peaks over 13,000' and more than a dozen small alpine lakes. There are about 20 miles of hiking trails in the wilderness. Parry Peak (13,391') is the highest peak in the wilderness.