Longs Peak Mountain Info
Summit: 14,259 feet
Hike Length: ~12-15 hours (took us 16.5)
Longs Peak Hiking Pictures - August 2009
Beginning of Longs Peak Hike - 1AM.
End of Longs Peak Hike - 6 PM.
Longs Peak boulder field.
Fort at base of Boulder Field. This is where the hike gets tough.
Finally final push up Longs Peak steeps.
Long's Peak bowl (view from front-side).
Key Hole above Boulder field at Longs Peak.
Nature trail creek waterfall heading to Longs Peak.
Point of no return - Right past the Narrows of Longs Peak and before final Push.
Storm Coming to Long's Peak.
Long's Peak Sunrise (from right above tree line).
Longs Peak Trail above treeline.
About Hiking Longs Peak
(August 2009) This was a difficult and LONG hike. We started at 1 o'clock in the morning (why? I have no idea--we had an "expert" with us who recommeneded starting early). After a couple beers and a UFC fight between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir we started the drive from Boulder, CO north to near Estes Park, CO to the base trail of Long's Peak. We 'signed-in' at approximately 1 AM at the start of the Longs' Peak Hike. From there we hiked all the way through the nature trail to just above the tree line where we decided to camp.
It gets cold in the middle of the night at altitude. After 45 minutes of not-sleeping, we packed up and continued the hike. Once we got to the Boulder Field a couple members of our party said "f-this" and decided to sleep and stay for the rest of the day at one of the nice camping forts at the base of the boulder field. The rest of us (3 of us) continued on. This is where the hike gets tiring and technical.
The Boulder Field at Longs Peak is long and gruesome but not too tricky. After trudging up this you get to the Keyhole where you begin to think you are near the top--you are wrong. Next you swing around the back side of the mountain. Then it is a steep uphill boulder hike, similar to the boulder field but steeper. After this you hit the narrows around the front side of the mountain. Then finally you hit the final push where we had to turn back due to conditions (extreme fatigue, dehydration, shitty hiking boots with no traction for the snow, and a crying older man in front of us). We made the mistake of leaving our packs and water behind at the keyhole (It was still a 2-4 hour hike to the summit from the keyhole). We did make it up over 14,000 feet and only a hundred yards or so from the top. The grown man who was crying in front of us (scared out of his mind) had been ditched by his buddies who headed for the top. This man negged us out and helped us conclude to head back. Saftey first.
In retrospect: I would either start this hike the afternoon/evening before, (around 6pm: hike for a few hours and then set up a serious camp site with tents and all; then stash our tents in the woods and come back for it at the end of the day); or do what most people do, start the hike at between 3am - 5am in the morning after a full night's sleep and just plain bust it out in one day (which is kind of what we did minus the full night's sleep).
Also, September is a better time to hike the fourteeners because most of the snow has melted. If you go before then, be sure to wear good hiking boots and be prepared to climb over some ice/snow.
View of the boulder-field and Keyhole on Longs Peak.
Longs Peak, Colorado Location
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