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St. Johns

Length: About a 6.5 mile roundtrip (if you continue on to the Wild Irishman)
A beautiful scenic hike for all seasons!
Difficulty Rating:

On snowshoes and in the middle of heavy snowfall.

A picturesque hike past a small lake to several cabins clustered near the ruins of what was once a thriving late 19th century mining town.

Directions: Take highway 6 east from Dillon past Keystone Lodge to the Montezuma Road (No.5). Turn right then veer left at the fork and travel about 5 and a quarter miles to Peru Creek road and parking on your left. Continue walking on Montezuma road for about three quarters of a mile. About a block from the stop sign in town, take the dirt road on your right (west).

The old mining town of St. Johns is about a mile and a half away. Be sure to bear right at the first fork several hundred yards up the road.


A hiker on snowshoes ascends through the thick pines.

A pleasant walk past a small lake to several cabins clustered near the ruins of what was once a thriving late 19th century mining town. Ruins of the old smelter constructed of bricks hauled all the way from Missouri by ox teams and wagons can be seen on your left as you enter the town. Signs urge you to respect the property and privacy of the area's remaining residents. Look for evidence of old avalanches as you walk through the valley and be sure to enjoy the spectacular mountain views to the east.

Some may wish to continue their adventure by continuing on from St. Johns to the Wild Irishman mine located about another mile and a half up the trail. If you continue, you will eventually note a sign about off road vehicles. Take the fork here to the left and follow the trail to the Wild Irishman. More modern ruins, including numerous abandoned vehicles mark this site which also provides awesome mountain vistas.

This hike is especially popular with cross country skiers and snowshoers and provides a picturesque setting for year round outdoor activity.

Snow covered mining ruins pictured above.

a few hikers enjoying a brisk morning hike and views.

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(inset) the green lushness of the trail in the spring. Mining ruins explored amidst a fresh dusting of snow in the fall.





  beginner intermediate advanced
    Black Powder Pass   Mohawk Lake   Quandary Peak  14,265'
    Lily Pad   Chihuahua Gulch   Lincoln & Bross 14,291' / 14,177'
    St. John's   Mt. Royal   Bierstadt Peak 14,060'
    Mayflower Gulch   Wheeler Lakes   Willow & Salmon Lakes
    Loveland Pass   Radical Hill Trail   Upper Crystal Lake
    Salt Lick Trail   McCullough Gulch   Gray's & Torrey's 14,278' / 14,267'
    Mesa Cortina Trail   Mt. Sniktau   Mt. Democrat 14,152'
    St. Mary's Glacier   North Ten Mile Trail   Mt. Victoria
    Sally Barber Mine   Willow Falls  

Mt. Elbert  14,433'

    Oro Grande Trail   Eaglesmere Lakes   Buffalo Mountain  12,777'
    Meadow Creek-Salt Lick   Mosquito Pass   Eccles Pass
    Shrine Mountain Trail   Webster Pass   Mt. Huron  14,003'
    Ptarmigan Trail   Ptarmigan via Wilder Gulch    
    Peaks Tr. Barton Gulch   Wheeler Lake - Park County    
    Hoosier Pass Loop   Lenawee Trail    


  Spruce Creek Loop   Nightmare on Baldy Mine    
    Tenderfoot Mountain Trail        

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Note: The Summit County Explorer website is for entertainment purposes only. SCE will not be held liable for the any accidents or injuries resulting from the activities listed on this site. Trail conditions change daily and we assume no responsibility for the safety of any individual during any of these activities. Please consult actual trail guides and maps before attempting any of the activities mentioned here.