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Climbing Longs Peak -- Keyhole Route Description

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Keyhole Route Planning Information
Mt. Lady Washington is the rounded peak to the left. The Diamond is the sheer face on Longs.

Early morning light floods across the North Face of Longs Peak and the Keyhole Route.

Photograph courtesy Doug Hatfield

Longs Peak Climbing Information

  • Mountain: Longs Peak
  • Elevation: 14,259 feet (4,346 meters)
  • Location: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
  • Range: Front Range
  • Coordinates: 40º 15' 17" N, 105º 36' 55" W
  • Map USGS Longs Peak; Trails Illustrated #200
  • Route: Keyhole Route
  • Difficulty: Class 3. Moderate. Hiking on a trail and scrambling over rock. Exposure, steep terrain, loose rock. A trail does not go to the summit. Route-finding is required. Only a non-technical hike/climb from July to mid-September.
  • Trailhead Elevation: 9,400 feet
  • Elevation Gain: 4,850 feet from trailhead to summit
  • One-Way and Round-Trip Distance: 8 miles and 16 miles
  • Restrictions: No dogs allowed on the trail or mountain.
  • Camping: Longs Peak Campground (NPS) at the trailhead. Other campgrounds are in the area. No car camping at the trailhead parking area. Camping at the Boulder Field by permit.
  • Lodging: Hotels and motels in Estes Park to the north
  • Nearest Town: Estes Park
  • Contact Information: Rocky Mountain National Park, 1000 Highway 36, Estes Park, Colorado 80517; 970) 586-1206

Directions to Trailhead

Longs Peak is in Rocky Mountain National Park west of Colorado Highway 7, the Peak to Peak Highway. From Estes Park to the north, drive 9.2 miles south on CO 7 from its junction with US 36 to a right (west) turn to Longs Peak Ranger Station and Campground. From the south, drive 10.5 miles north on CO 7 from the junction of CO 7 and CO 72 and make a left turn to Longs Peak Ranger Station and Campground. Drive a mile west to the Longs Peak Trailhead.

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