Longs Peak Trail

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado 80517

Elevation Gain2,937ft
Trailhead Elevation9,392ft
Elevation Min/Max9392/12077ft
Elevation Start/End9392/9392ft

Longs Peak Trail

Longs Peak Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Larimer County and Boulder County, Colorado. It is within Rocky Mountain National Park. It is 5.3 miles long and begins at 9,392 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,937 feet. The Longs Peak Trailhead parking is near the trailhead. There is also an information map. The Keyhole saddle, the Agnes Vaille Memorial Shelter (elevation 13,169 feet) shelter, and the Goblins Forest camp site can be seen along the trail. The trail ends near the Granite Pass (elevation 12,083 feet) saddle, the Boulderfield camp site, and Longs Peak (elevation 14,239 feet). There is also an information guidepost near the end of the trail. This trail connects with the following: North Longs Peak Trail, Eugena Mine Trail, Jim's Grove Trail, East Longs Peak Trail and Chasm Lake Trail.

Longs Peak Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Climbing and Skiing Colorado's Mountains (Falcon Guides)
Ben Conners and Brian Miller
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"Longs Peak is one of the most iconic mountains in North America. Many hikers and climbers travel vast distances to visit this great peak and confront the challenge it presents. Simply viewing Longs up close is a worthwhile endeavor, and with more than one hundred routes leading to its summit, this peak has much to offer for backcountry enthusiasts as well. Longs stands tall as the monarch of Colorado’s Front Range, rising 9,000 feet out of the eastern plains to form a gigantic monolith of jagged ridges and sheer granite faces. Viewed from the north, Longs’s familiar flat summit is notable, as is a 2,500-foot couloir that drops dramatically from its western summit ridge down into Glacier Gorge. The east side of Longs is perhaps its most impressive aspect, marked by an unmistakable 2,000-foot vertical wall that rises in spectacular fashion from the boulder fields below."
Best Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park (Falcon Guides)
Kent Dannen
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"Many of the climbers who aspire to ascend all of Colorado’s fifty-plus “fourteeners” (mountains more than 14,000 feet tall) put off Longs Peak until last, reasonably assuming it will be the best."
Best Summit Hikes in Colorado (Wilderness Press)
James Dziezynski
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"Longs is the classic 14er. Despite the fact that it’s a strenuous circuit, most people climb the Keyhole route in a single day. The scrambling is among the best in the state."
Day & Overnight Hikes: Rocky Mountain National Park (Menasha Ridge Press)
Kim Lipker
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"The excursion up this awe-inspiring mountain blurs the lines between a hike and a climb. The 15 miles will likely rank among the most spectacular yet hard-earned miles you have ever hiked. This mountain displays both imposing stature and magnificent beauty that validate its popularity. Longs Peak is the tallest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park and the fourteener that sits farthest north in Colorado. It is also the easternmost point of the Continental Divide."
Day & Overnight Hikes: Rocky Mountain National Park (Menasha Ridge Press)
Kim Lipker
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"Estes Cone is an inactive volcano cone. In this book we will profile the trail from Longs Peak Trailhead, even though there are two other access points to Estes Cone. This mostly shaded trail is a nice hike in the summer. It’s also a good hike early or late in the season, when some other nearby hikes are thick with snow or impassable due to snow. Estes Cone is a Rocky Mountain National Park hike that can be accessed here without an entrance fee."
Colorado's Incredible Backcountry Trails (Rincon Publishing)
David Day
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"Longs Peak is undisputedly one of the outstanding mountain peaks of the American West. Entire books have been written about the majestic mountain, its rich history, its challenging assent routes and its rugged beauty. The first recorded sighting of the mountain was made by Stephen Long in 1820, but it was known to Indians and French trappers long before that. The mountain men referred to Longs Peak and nearby Mount Meeker as Les Deux Orielles, or The Two Ears. Interest in climbing the peak picked up in 1865 after the well-publicized conquest of the Matterhorn in Europe, and three years later a successful assent of Longs Peak was led by Major John Wesley Powell."

Longs Peak Trail Trip Reports

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An epic hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. It is tough and definitely not for the faint of heart! We hiked to Boulder Field on the first day and camped, then went to the summit. I loved this as a backpacking/overnight trip, but anyone who hikes this in one day is my hero. It is SO amazing.
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This is an outstanding scramble. While not for the faint of heart, it is an excellent route for someone who thinks that mountaineering might be in their future.

The approach leading to Boulderfield Camp (~51/2 mi) is scenic and not challenging. From Boulderfield to the Keyhole and beyond is awesome and much more challenging.

We camped at Boulderfield and summited at first light, it was outstanding. I highly recommend this approach.

The technical difficulty of the route from the Key Hole to the summit increases four times with four sections, each providing a new level of challenge. My 15 year-old son and I made it from Boulderfield camp to the summit in 1hr 40 minutes and we have hundreds of miles of backpacking experience, but no climbing experience. We both summitted without physical mishap (or mental breakdown).

It was outstanding. I recommend this route to anyone who thinks they want to climb mountains, is fit and courageous, but does not have climbing experience.

Longs Peak Trail Photos

Trail Information

Rocky Mountain National Park
Nearby City
Rocky Mountain National Park
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Office, 1000 US 36, Estes Park 80517; (970) 586-1242; www.nps.gov/romo
Local Contacts
Trails Illustrated #200: Rocky Mountain National Park; USGS: Longs Peak and Allens Park.
Local Maps

Trail Log