In less than 3 miles, you'll climb more than 2000 feet in elevation -- that's quite like climbing a staircase for three miles. It’s wise to start your 10- to 18-hour round-trip hike around 3 a.m. so that you can reach the summit by noon and start descending before the peak’s almost-daily afternoon thunderstorms . Hike 3 miles from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead to stroll past this waterfall and two lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park. A moderate hike along Rocky Mountain National Park's Lumpy Ridge. Hiking the Narrows section of Longs Peak. Because the hike is so long and because afternoon storms tend to be such a risk factor, most hikers start the trek up Longs Peak at around 3 in the morning. Critical sections of the Keyhole Route are often snow-covered until midsummer, so most climbers should aim for late July through early September. A nearby hike with views of Longs Peak is the Chasm Lake Trail. This hike is attempted an estimated 20,000 times per year by hikers with a less than 50% completion rate. If it looks like you won’t reach the summit by 10 AM, consider coming back another day. There are gorgeous views all the way along the trail and a 300-degree view as your reward for reaching the top. - YouTube. This easy 2.7 mile hike passes by three named waterfalls and numerous smaller cascades and trickles along North St. Vrain Creek. Enter RMNP at the Wild Basin Entrance south of Estes Park. There are a few designated camp spots in the boulder field but they are tough to secure. Apparently, an average of 2 people die per year trying to climb Longs and someone from my town had just perished on Longs in the last month. From the trailhead, hike west up the East Longs Peak Trail. Longs Peak (14255') via Glacier Gorge & The Trough Feb 21, 2009 11.6 miles RT, 5200' gain ... We were pumped for the final push, which turned out to be not much harder than a summer hike as what snow there was on the Narrows was very firm. Longs Peak is without a doubt one of the best adventures the Rockies has to offer.At a whopping 14,259 ft., this giant is one of the most beloved peaks in Colorado. After 0.5 miles you reach a marked trail junction, keep left on the main trail. Remember, your day doesn’t really start until the keyhole. Below, each is shown. Pass through the keyhole and begin a final mile-long ascent to the summit. It’s around 15 miles round trip ending at a summit over 14,000 feet high. Many casual hikers attempt Longs despite the fact it is one of the toughest 14ers. Make sure you are hydrated and fueled! 5 out of 5 stars (100) 100 reviews $ 32.50 FREE shipping Only 1 left Favorite Add to Estes Park Colorado Poster ColoradoPosters. Before passing through the keyhole, check for storm clouds building on the horizon. The Keyhole Route to the summit of majestic Longs Peak is not a hike, however, it is an extrordinary experience for those who come prepared. Longs Peak Trailhead Get Ready for the Hike of a Lifetime. When planning an assent, try to organize it so you can hike during the tail end of your trip. Past this point the trail is fully exposed and can be dangerous if a thunderstorm rolls in. The hike starts at the Longs Peak Trailhead. Longs Peak from Moraine Park in Rocky Mountain National Park. All but one of Rocky Mountain Park's waterfalls require at least a short hike meaning that it's entirely possible to enjoy a waterfall by yourself. Longs is a fantastic mountain, one that is a serious undertaking that demands respect. Despite being a difficult mountain, many people still insist on giving it a go, even if they may not have the experience or fitness to perform well on the peak. If you are new to 14ers, it is a very good idea to start with some of the less difficult summits: Grays Peak, Torreys Peak, Mount Bierstadt, Mount Sherman, Quandary Peak, and Handies Peak are all much better mountains to serve as a first 14er. Add to that, many summer days are crowded with a wide variety of hikers, from couch dreamers to professional athletes—many of whom will be knocking rocks down or causing time consuming bottlenecks. Longs Peak as seen from chasm lake. Getting on the trail at 2 - 3 AM is considered a "best practice" (though if you can score a camping spot in the boulder field, you can obviously push that start time back). They may just get their fill on those peaks! These rangers are experts at gauging Longs Peak’s temperament and very often, they will shut down the Keyhole if they see storms, strong winds, or rain moving in. A general rule is that you don’t want to be starting the Keyhole portion of the hike after 6 AM—it’s 5.5 miles from the parking lot on a long trail and a big boulder field before arriving at this locale. Done as a single day outing, the standard Keyhole route on Longs entails 15+ miles of hiking, 5,000 ft. of elevation gain, exposed scrambling with fall-risk potential, and difficult terrain above treeline, where storms roar in with regularity. Two rules come into play when hiking Longs: Start early and drink more water than you think necessary. The first two miles gain steady elevation while passing through Goblin's Forest. It is unquestionably the monarch of the Front Range and northern Colorado. First, the route winds uphill through dense forest for several miles. There are many spectacular ways to summit Long's Peak, and this description highlights the "standard" Keyhole Route. The silver lining? Time this right and the sun will just be peaking out across the eastern horizon. And many hikers end up biting off more than they can chew. The large flat summit of Longs has unobstructed 360-degree views of the eastern plains, Indian Peaks Wilderness to the south, and the Rocky Mountain National Park to the west. Even after reaching the boulder field, do not let your guard down. It's close proximity to Denver and its pure majesty make it the most popular climbing mountain in the state. The few days of being in the park will help your body acclimate to the high altitude. Done as a single day outing, the standard Keyhole route on Longs entails 15+ miles of hiking, 5,000 ft. of elevation gain, exposed scrambling with fall-risk potential, and difficult terrain above treeline, where storms roar in with regularity. Longs Peak: Long's Peak Hike - See 62 traveler reviews, 78 candid photos, and great deals for Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, at Tripadvisor. Longs Pass Hike Info. This trail is a much more achievable day hike than Longs Peak. It is not only the highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park and Boulder County, but it is also the 15th highest peak in Colorado. Dominating the skyline, and topping out at 14,259 feet, Longs is the ultimate adventure for enthusiastic hikers. Since the early 2000s, our Rocky Mountain National Park guides have guided dozens of Longs Peak trips every season, and know the mountain better than anyone. Factors such as weather, late starts, and underestimating the physical fitness needed for the hike all play into this number. Iconic Longs Peak (14,259') is the highest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado's 15th highest summit, and the northern most 14,000' peak in the Rocky Mountains. Looking to take the guided trip of your life and summit Longs Peak, Colorado’s most infamous 14er?Look no further than Kirks Mountain Adventures. The flat-topped monarch is seen from almost anywhere in the park. Here are a slew of wildflower-rich hikes to get you started this spring. The Rundown to Longs Peak: Two rules come into play when hiking Longs: Start early and drink more water than you think necessary. For a wealth of information including maps, trip reports, route descriptions and photos, please visit 14ers.com Longs Peak page. Always remember to error on the side of caution and heed a hikers well-known saying: the mountain is not going anywhere; it will be here another day. Longs Peak casts a siren’s song over many people who are looking to test their mettle in the mountains. Longs Peak Hike/Run A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I was running too much and need to get my hiking legs ready for the races I have coming up. Live like a Boulder local whenever, wherever, Outdoor destinations + local stories & exclusive outdoor events. If you are attempting a spontaneous summit, you’ll likely have to start from the Longs Peak Trailhead or camp at the Longs Peak Campground at 9,500 ft, a few miles from the start of the trailhead. Longs Peak is something of a legendary Colorado climb / hike. The infamous keyhole, which leads to the only non-technical route up Longs Peak, is now visible directly ahead at the top of the boulder field. At Chasm Lake Trail Junction, grab a quick snack and soak in views of Longs 18-acre granite face known as the Diamond. When is the best time to hike Longs Peak? If they persist, it's best to seek a doctor. You can contact Rocky Mountain National Park to obtain a backcountry permit and reserve a camping spot—but do so at least 30 days in advance of your climb. Although it’s a popular hike, Longs Peak is the deadliest 14er in Colorado claiming 19 lives between 2000 and 2019 so be sure to be prepared when attempting a hike up Longs Peak via the Keyhole Route. Nick Sangetta hikes Longs Peak in the Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado on August 29, 2018. There are two main “hiking” trails to Longs peak that feature Class 1 and 2 hiking up until the Keyhole, where the hike is considered class 3. Turn right and traverse west and northwest across the northeast slope of Mt. At 14,259 feet (4,345 meters), Longs Peak is one of the most popular “Fourteeners” in Colorado. Sometimes this may not be apparent to the hiker, but these rangers know what they are talking about—and they prefer everyone stays safe. Where to Hideout during a Charleston Rainstorm, Enjoying South Alabama’s Best Tent Camping This Fall, Excellent (and Easy) Camping near DC That's Perfect for Labor Day, Surfing, Tubing, and Kayaking in the Midst of Hellastorm, Big Family Fun Without the Big Price Tag (Or Hours in the Car). Day hikers planning to summit Longs Peak usually arrive between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. To navigate, follow spray painted targets to the base of a long trough. Don't be fooled though, it's not a walk in the park. The journey starts from the Longs Peak Trailhead located along CO-7 10.2 miles from Estes Park. It is impossible to stare at the eastern skyline of Rocky Mountain National Park and not be compelled to at least wonder what it would be like to climb Longs Peak. © 2021 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, Restaurants, Dining, Breweries, & Distilleries, feel nauseous, it's probably a resort of high altitude. With the top question in your mind being – How difficult is the Longs Peak climb? Hike three uncrowded trails in Rocky Mountain National Park: Sky Pond, Moraine Park to Bear Lake, and the Tonahutu Creek/North Inlet Loop. Winter 2019. Certain areas are prone to bottlenecks, such as the top of the Trough and along the Homestretch. Longs Peak casts a siren’s song over many people who are looking to test their mettle in the mountains. 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