Longs Peak (Arapaho: Neníisótoyóú’u) is a high and prominent mountain in the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. Hiking to the summit of Longs peak is a serious undertaking and should be done only with the proper fitness, gear, and research. 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. Weary legs, lungs, and eyes sizing up the difficult 2+ mile passage to the summit often decide to call it a day right then and there. Longs Peak casts a siren’s song over many people who are looking to test their mettle in the mountains. This is a strenuous hike with difficult terrain that should not be underestimated. I included Longs Peak in my hiking guide Best Summit Hikes in Colorado because it truly is one of the best adventures in the Rockies. At the end of this road is a parking lot that can hold approximately 20 cars. This is an extreme day hike for you adventurous travelers! If they persist, it's best to seek a doctor. With its broad, flat, summit and expansive views, it is easy to forget your day is far from done after summiting. Consider a weekday ascent to avoid the crowds and start early. 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. Certain areas are prone to bottlenecks, such as the top of the Trough and along the Homestretch. The flat-topped monarch is seen from almost anywhere in the park. Two in the national park and two nearby. 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. 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. The East Longs Peak Trail is by far the more popular route. Stay left on the East Longs Peak Trail and switchback up and easy slope to reach the north end of the Boulder Field, near 12,400'. Longs Peak is something of a legendary Colorado climb / hike. Note: If you start to feel nauseous, it's probably a resort of high altitude. 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 . The hike then enters the boulder field, a large relatively flat field of boulders where a few backcountry campsites reside. Past this point the trail is fully exposed and can be dangerous if a thunderstorm rolls in. An early morning start and being fully rested is essential for a summit attempt on Longs Peak.A twenty minute shuttle brings us to the trailhead, where your guide will distribute backpacks, hiking poles, and trail snacks. When is the best time to hike Longs Peak? Longs Peak casts a siren’s song over many people who are looking to test their mettle in the mountains. If you’re considering climbing Longs, here are 10 things to know that will help ensure a safe, strong experience on the mountain. Longs Peak is a craggy monster with several enormous vertical cliffs, set among the sea of 13,000 foot peaks that make up Rocky Mountain National Park. Starting at an elevation of roughly 9405 feet, hikers will be following the East Longs Peak Trail for the entire route on this hike. In 2014, over twenty people were hit by lightning in Rocky Mountain National Park, resulting in two fatalities. They may just get their fill on those peaks! Even though the route is well marked, it’s still possible to get off track. Two rules come into play when hiking Longs: Start early and drink more water than you think necessary. 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. Rangers patrol the area between the boulder field and the Keyhole, making sure everyone is safe and offering help if needed. Unobstructed 360 degree views spanning the eastern plains and continental divide. 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. © 2021 RootsRated, Inc. All rights reserved. There are a few designated camp spots in the boulder field but they are tough to secure. You see unusual rock formations and a small lake with a beach. 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. What are the biggest risks? ... Take water, rain gear, warm clothing and food on this very popular and strenuous hike. Day hikers planning to summit Longs Peak usually arrive between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Well, there's nothing like being forced to bang out a few 75 min/miles to wake up the hiking legs! When planning an assent, try to organize it so you can hike during the tail end of your trip. Longs Pass provides unbelievable views, but only after an unbelievable amount of elevation gain. A good rule for Longs is to summit no later than 10 AM and the earlier the better. To quickly answer – The risk factors that make Longs Peak hard to climb are often incorrectly perceived. Make sure you are hydrated and fueled! Once you are back in the trees, its ok to relax and enjoy the hike out. Get Ready for the Hike of a Lifetime. Remember, your day doesn’t really start until the keyhole. This 14,259 ft. behemoth is one of the most coveted peaks in Colorado. The silver lining? Below, each is shown. 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). Many hikers decide that Longs will be their inaugural 14er. Unless they are fit, experienced and acclimated, there are much better summits for them to enjoy (many well under 14,000 ft.). A nearby hike with views of Longs Peak is the Chasm Lake Trail. Chasm Lake near Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. To return, retrace your route back to Longs Peak Trailhead. 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). Nick Sangetta hikes Longs Peak in the Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado on August 29, 2018. 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. With the top question in your mind being – How difficult is the Longs Peak climb? From the trailhead, hike west up the East Longs Peak Trail. To navigate, follow spray painted targets to the base of a long trough. Descending the homestretch is perhaps the most unnerving and difficult part of the day. Buy the Rocky Mountain National Park Trail Map Pack including Longs Peak at REI.com. The few days of being in the park will help your body acclimate to the high altitude. Rocky Mountain National Park statistics report an average of 15,000 people attempting to ascend Longs per year (by all of its various routes). If they are insistent on climbing Longs, doing one or two warm-up mountains over 13,000 ft. is a good idea. Long's Peak stands proudly as Colorado's northernmost fourteener. 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. 5 out of 5 stars (100) 100 reviews $ 32.50 FREE shipping Only 1 left Favorite Add to Estes Park Colorado Poster ColoradoPosters. More than 60 people have died on Longs Peak and the majority of those have been on the Keyhole route. As you ascend the trough, don't forget to turn around for some of the best views in the Park of Glacier Gorge to the North. Unless they already have a lot of mountain experience under their belts, especially at higher altitudes, Longs can be a rude awakening. Here are a slew of wildflower-rich hikes to get you started this spring. When planning an assent, try to organize it so you can hike during the tail end of your trip. Located in Rocky Mountain National Park, just under 10 miles southwest of Estes Park, Longs Peak is the highest point in Boulder County at 14,259 feet. Though this hike is difficult, and especially dangerous during poor weather, it is stunning, and doable for most intermediate to experienced hikers. Don't be fooled though, it's not a walk in the park. Enter RMNP at the Wild Basin Entrance south of Estes Park. Critical sections of the Keyhole Route are often snow-covered until midsummer, so most climbers should aim for late July through early September. Written by James Dziezynski for RootsRated. 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. Caution and good judgement is highly recomm… There are many spectacular ways to summit Long's Peak, and this description highlights the "standard" Keyhole Route. Alberta Falls is only 0.8 miles in. It is unquestionably the monarch of the Front Range and northern Colorado. Longs Pass Hike Info. 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. This hike is attempted an estimated 20,000 times per year by hikers with a less than 50% completion rate. Longs Peak: Long's Peak Hike - See 62 traveler reviews, 78 candid photos, and great deals for Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, at Tripadvisor. The hike is limited to 20 people. After the junction, follow the trail gaining steady amounts of elevation while wrapping around a small ridgeline. 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. Worth Noting: Longs Peak is a high and prominent mountain in the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. Longs Peak from Moraine Park in Rocky Mountain National Park. At 14,259 feet (4,345 meters), Longs Peak is one of the most popular “Fourteeners” in Colorado. Its easiest pathway still requires skilled transversing and confidently scrambling up exposed cliff edges. This easy 2.7 mile hike passes by three named waterfalls and numerous smaller cascades and trickles along North St. Vrain Creek. Overflow parking tends to line the road as you approach the parking lot. 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. 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. Not reaching the summit shouldn’t be considered a failure. Dominating the skyline, and topping out at 14,259 feet, Longs is the ultimate adventure for enthusiastic hikers. It is common to see hundreds of people along the route and on the summit. 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. Even in the heart of summer, bring warm clothes and rainproof layers. Over 10 total miles of the 15-mile Keyhole route involve hoofing it on the class 2 hiking trail. Sometimes this may not be apparent to the hiker, but these rangers know what they are talking about—and they prefer everyone stays safe. After crossing several small streams, the trail emerges from the trees and crosses into open tundra. A Longs Peak Colorado hike is one of the best in the Rocky Mountain National Park. The Chasm Lake Trail begins from the Longs Peak Trailhead at 9,405 feet, and climbs around 2,500 feet to Chasm Lake at 11,823 feet. The hike starts at the Longs Peak Trailhead. Even at a quick clip, Longs can take 10 hours to hike and many people will spend 12 - 15 hours on the mountain. After 0.5 miles you reach a marked trail junction, keep left on the main trail. Even fit hikers should give themselves 12 hours round trip. How long does it take to hike to the top? In fact, the 16-mile round trip hike will push hikers lungs and stamina to the test. According to the National Park Service, two people, on average, die every year attempting to hike Longs Peak. First, the route winds uphill through dense forest for several miles. Hike 3 miles from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead to stroll past this waterfall and two lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Many visitors want to hike Longs because it is one of the two most well-known Colorado summits (along with Pikes Peak). Visit these popular trailheads for unforgettable hikes and vistas. Longs Peak is the farthest north 14er (peak over 14,000 feet) in Colorado and the highest point within the National Park. If you start early enough, chances are you will make a relatively uncrowded ascent but you’re likely to get mired in the mix on the way down. This trail is a much more achievable day hike than Longs Peak. 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. The few days of being in the park will help your body acclimate to the high altitude. For a wealth of information including maps, trip reports, route descriptions and photos, please visit 14ers.com Longs Peak page. And many hikers end up biting off more than they can chew. Hiking the Narrows section of Longs Peak. Longs Peak Art Print - Rocky Mountain National Park, RMNP, Longs Peak Poster, Longs Peak Art Print, Longs Peak art, Wall Art, 14er TMBtent. A moderate hike along Rocky Mountain National Park's Lumpy Ridge. Turn right and traverse west and northwest across the northeast slope of Mt. The north and east faces of Longs come into view, as well as Storm Peak … For those looking for thrilling scrambling from the start, Longs is sure to disappoint. The face can be climbed by experienced climbers and typically is considered a top tier destination. Storms can form in 15 minutes from a perfectly blue sky. Most hikers typically begin before dawn, since afternoon thunderstorms usually roll in around 12 or 1 pm and can be life threatening above tree line. The Rundown to Longs Peak: Two rules come into play when hiking Longs: Start early and drink more water than you think necessary. 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. Factors such as weather, late starts, and underestimating the physical fitness needed for the hike all play into this number. 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. Perhaps the most important lesson of all is that your are far from finished when you reach the summit of Longs Peak. There are gorgeous views all the way along the trail and a 300-degree view as your reward for reaching the top. On weekends, the trail up to Longs can seem more like a pilgrimage. The reward? Recent records show about a 47% successful summit rate. Many casual hikers attempt Longs despite the fact it is one of the toughest 14ers. Physical conditioning is important, but so is the mental aspect. 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. Longs Peak via the Keyhole route. NPS Photo. 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. © 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. From the time you breach treeline below Chasm Lake to the summit, there are very few places to escape a violent storm. Photo by Jack Barker. You can see the peak and the keyboard of the winds all together during a sunny day! At 14,259 feet, Longs Peak towers above all other summits in Rocky Mountain National Park. Longs Peak is 14,256 feet and located in RMNP, Estes Park, CO. Go with a guide up Longs Peak, one of the most sought after 14er’s in Colorado and the only fourteener in Rocky Mountain National Park. The North Longs Peak Trail heads off to the right. It's close proximity to Denver and its pure majesty make it the most popular climbing mountain in the state. If you are looking for a 14er to climb in Colorado, Longs Peak is most likely near the top of your list. Even though it’s a popular trek among hikers and climbers, this world-famous trail is not for the faint of heart. If it looks like you won’t reach the summit by 10 AM, consider coming back another day. - YouTube. While it is not as difficult as the toughest 14er summits (Little Bear Peak, Capitol Peak, Crestone Needle, Sunlight Peak), Longs has plenty of difficult, class 3 scrambling. There is a small shelter at the base of the Keyhole proper, but otherwise you’re exposed for several hours. The first two miles gain steady elevation while passing through Goblin's Forest. 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. 283 Trip Reports for this trail, below Hike by WTA Staff: Anna Roth. Longs Peak as seen from chasm lake. 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 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. 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. Returning the to Keyhole requires concentration. To get here, take Highway 7 and turn onto Longs Peak Road. Hike three uncrowded trails in Rocky Mountain National Park: Sky Pond, Moraine Park to Bear Lake, and the Tonahutu Creek/North Inlet Loop. Pace yourself and don’t burn yourself right out of the gate. It’s nearly three more miles to the relative safety of timberline. Longs peak is actually the tallest peak of all the mountains in the np boundary. Longs Peak Trailhead Trail Route: These stats show that many people are smart enough to realize it won’t be their day—a humbling lesson Longs is adept at teaching. Live like a Boulder local whenever, wherever, Outdoor destinations + local stories & exclusive outdoor events. From shop TMBtent. We left our crampons in case there was any ice and found just a couple small patches that could be avoided. Many people will learn a great deal about themselves and the mountain in the process and go on to successfully summit at a later date. Colorado 14ers: Longs Peak via Keyhole Route Hike Information & Review - 14er FINISHER! Work up to Longs and you’ll enjoy the experience much more than suffering through a long, hard day. Before passing through the keyhole, check for storm clouds building on the horizon. Longs is a fantastic mountain, one that is a serious undertaking that demands respect. Anticipate a 1:30am – 2am pick up from your hotel in Estes Park. Weather can move in any day, any time, with any forecast. It’s now time for Longs Peak, Aug. 28. Winter 2019. At Chasm Lake Trail Junction, grab a quick snack and soak in views of Longs 18-acre granite face known as the Diamond. The journey starts from the Longs Peak Trailhead located along CO-7 10.2 miles from Estes Park. Longs Peak is the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park. The trail continues to gain elevation while feeding through open tundra filled with jagged rocks and boulders lit by the early morning sunrise. Even after reaching the boulder field, do not let your guard down. When is the best time to hike Longs Peak? And many hikers end up biting off more than they can chew. In 2002, a research survey showed over 9,500 people reached the summit of Longs Peak; thousands more turned around at the Boulder Field. In less than 3 miles, you'll climb more than 2000 feet in elevation -- that's quite like climbing a staircase for three miles. Time this right and the sun will just be peaking out across the eastern horizon. 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. Flat field of boulders where a few 75 min/miles to wake up the hiking legs 2.7... Mountains over 13,000 ft. is a fantastic Mountain, one that is a high prominent... Are insistent on climbing Longs, doing one or two warm-up mountains 13,000. You reach the summit of Longs Peak is actually the tallest Peak all. Weekends, the route is well marked, it ’ s still possible to get off track turn... 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