Longs Peak In Rocky Mountain National Park – Longs Peak is the only (“14er”) peak above 14,000 feet in Rocky Mountain National Park. Standing at 14,259 feet, it is the 15th highest peak in Colorado. If you want to climb this rugged peak, you need to know the route, how to get to high altitude, what equipment you need and plan logistics in advance.
Use the information below as a guide to hiking Long’s Peak! With proper training and preparation, climbing Longs Peak is worth all the effort. The rewarding feeling you get at the top is something that cannot be captured in photos. Plus, the panoramic views you get at the top of Longs Peak are truly iconic. As your eyes gaze upon the Colorado Great Plains to the east, the Front Range glaciers, the 13,000-foot Indian Peaks to the south, and the headwaters of the Colorado River to the west.
Longs Peak In Rocky Mountain National Park
There are several routes to the summit of Longs Peak, but the keyhole route is the most popular. The route is named “Keyhole” because it passes through a keyhole, a break in the rocky cliffs of the peak. Technical equipment is not required to climb this route in the summer, but gloves (and a helmet as an extra precaution) are recommended. Although most of the way up is trail, it turns from rock hopping to class 3 cutting. Behind the keyhole and along the ridge the path can be quite treacherous. Be aware that climbing, long approaches, weather and high altitudes present greater risk when attempting to reach Longs Peak.
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The weather in the mountains is constantly changing, and it is important that you are updated before heading to Longs Peak. Rocky Mountain National Park has hiking conditions on Longs Peak that are regularly updated on the weather website (starting in May). The best months to climb Longs Peak are from mid-July to September. But even in summer, the day can start with sunny and blue skies, and at noon the session can be thunder, rain or snow!
The trail begins with a well-maintained path through a pine forest, then through a long switchback. The really challenging bits of the 6 mile hike appear when you hit the boulder field. The Boulder Field section requires boulder hopping and slow rock climbing. Once you reach the keyhole, you’re about a mile from the summit, but you still have dangerous, exposed sections filled with ravines, valleys, and slippery shale on the narrow side. You always need 3 points of contact and this is when gloves really come in handy. When you reach the top, you can release your hands from the grip of the slippery granite and enjoy a relatively flat area to walk and enjoy the achievement.
The national park has put together a more in-depth description of the Keyhole Trail that can be found here, as well as many photos and informational videos.
While an epic achievement, Long’s Peak isn’t a great “first 14er” to check off your bucket list. Proper training is required for this climb or “climbing”. This includes hiking trails with the same elevation gain, but also hikes at higher altitudes. Dehydration is very common and altitude sickness can happen to anyone. Watch our High Altitude Hiking video for more tips and information.
Day Hiking In Rocky Mountain National Park
Unlike other access points in Rocky Mountain National Park, no entrance fee or day permit is required to enter this area. Although the Trailhead fills up quickly, get there early! A weekday tour is the best time to visit for little people.
The East Longs Peak Trail has a ranger station with a small 26-site campground. Camping is first come, first serve and tent only and costs $26/night.
There are a few designated campsites in the Boulder Field area (5.5 miles up the trail near the summit) but they go fast. You must contact the park to obtain a backcountry permit and make a reservation at least one month before your trip.
Did you know that only 50 percent of people who attempt to climb Longs Peak make it to the top? This has to do with bad weather, a late start and a reduced inflation challenge. A nearby hike with views of Longs Peak is the Chasm Lake Trail. This trail is a more doable day hike than Long’s Peak. The Chasam Lake Trail begins at 9,405 feet at the Longs Peak Trailhead and climbs approximately 2,500 feet to reach Chasam Lake at 11,823 feet. At your final destination, Chasm Lake and Longs Peak’s monolithic granite towers 14,259 feet into the sky. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, this can be the most epic picnic spot in a national park. The famous, exposed “Diamond Wall” may have climbers on its face that you can see climbing as you eat breakfast and look at the giant peaks ahead.
Rocky Mountain National Park Recovers Body Of 25 Year Old Climber On Longs Peak
This 8.5 mile out and back will get you back to the parking lot in 4-5 hours. Start early as parking spaces fill up quickly. We use essential cookies to make the website work, as well as to understand and improve the use of the website.
Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is located in the north-central part of the United States state of Colorado. It is the third most visited national park in the United States, and its closest entrance is only 75 miles from Denver International Airport. It is located in front of the Rockies in North America.
It covers 415 square kilometers. The park is divided from north to south by the Continental Divide and ranges in elevation from 7,860 to 14,259 feet. It covers several ecozones from mountain tundra to alpine tundra. It is crossed from east to west by Trail Ridge Road (U.S. Highway 34), which reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet, making it the highest continuous paved road in North America. Eleven miles of the road are above the tree line at an elevation of 11,500 feet. But most of the road is closed for at least six months of the year due to heavy snow accumulation.
The park has 60 peaks above 12,000 feet, 450 miles of rivers and streams, 350 miles of hiking trails, and 150 lakes. The highest and most famous mountain is Longs Peak, 14,259 feet high. This is the only square in the park. Longs Peak is so prominent and dominant that it is visible from most urban corridors, from Denver to Fort Collins, as well as from miles to the east as it rises 9,000 feet above the western edge of the Great Plains. . . It is a mountaineer’s mountain, with several climbing routes on a steep cliff known as Diamond. The “easiest” route on the mountain is the Keyhole Route which is considered non-technical – but only in the summer months.
Longs Peak Keyhole Route Guide, Photography And Video
There are two main vehicle entrances to the east park, where most visitors enter. On the west side, visitors can enter the Grand Lake City park. The two eastern entrances are located in the town of Estes Park. In addition, there are several other vehicle access points on the trails, but they do not provide access to other parts of the park. A popular road trip is to drive the 200-mile loop that crosses the Continental Divide twice (once via Trail Ridge Road and once via Berthoud Pass) and offers visitors an incredible variety of scenery. mountain view. The park has five visitor centers, one of which, the Alpine Visitor Center, is located near the highest point of Trail Ridge Road and offers spectacular views. It is usually open from late May to mid-October.
Of course, entertainment is the main tourist activity, and most of it takes place in the eastern part of the park. This is where most of the tourist attractions are located – campsites, hiking trails, lakes, rivers and streams, and tourist facilities. The West of course has such features, but they are smaller, more remote and less accessible by motor vehicle. But the upside is that those who want a more authentic desert experience will find it there. The trails leading into the park and the many lakes and mountain peaks are longer and in most cases require more days and camping in the back country.
Without a doubt, the park’s biggest attraction is Bear Lake with its iconic views. Although it is possible to reach the lake from a good road that is usually open throughout the year, the large parking lot is not enough during the summer and early autumn, especially on weekends.
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