Longs Peak, Colorado

Prominence: 2940 ft, 896 m

Elevation: 14,255 feet, 4345 meters

True Isolation: 43.61 mi, 70.18 km
Elevation Info:NAVD88 Elevation: 14,260 ft / 4347 m
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)40° 15' 18'' N; 105° 36' 58'' W
40.254902, -105.616089 (Dec Deg)
447607E 4456231N Zone 13 (UTM)
CountryUnited States
County/Second Level RegionBoulder (Highest Point)

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     Longs Peak at
     Longs Peak at Trip Report for Boulder, CO by David Olson and Doug van Zet Trip Report for Boulder, CO by Adam Helman Trip Report for Boulder, CO by Scott Casterlin Trip Report for Boulder, CO by Kevin Baker Trip Report for Boulder, CO by Jeff Cook

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Lists that contain Longs Peak:
     USA Lower 48 Range5 High Points (Rank #12)
     North America 14,000-foot Peaks (Rank #61)
     Colorado 13,500 foot Peaks (Rank #15)
     Western Contiguous USA CoHPs (Rank #16)
     Western USA CoHPs (Rank #21)
     Colorado 13,700-foot Peaks (Rank #15)
     Peaks on US State Quarters (Rank #2)
     2000-foot Prominence CoHPs - 48 States (Rank #159)
     Colorado 14,000-foot Peaks (Rank #15)
     Western USA Peaks with 25 miles of Isolation (Rank #106)
     U.S. County High Points over 13,000 feet - 48 States (Rank #16)
     United States 13,750-foot Peaks (Rank #40)
     U.S. County High Points over 13,000 feet (Rank #21)
     Colorado Peaks with 2000 feet of Prominence (Rank #22)
     Colorado County High Points (Rank #13)
     Fifty Highest CoHPs in Lower 48 (Rank #12)
     U.S. National Park High Points (Rank #6)
     Fifty Highest CoHPs (Rank #17)
     Colorado Mountain Club Fourteeners (Rank #15)

Selected Guidebook(s) for this Peak:
       Colorado's Fourteeners: From Hikes to Climbs (Roach)
       A Climbing Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners (Borneman, Lampert)
       Hiking Colorado's Summits (Mitchler, Covill)

Selected Trip Reports from this site:
     1989-07 by glen mizenko (Unsuccessful)
     1994-07-12 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     1995-07-03 by Joe Lavelle
     1995-09-12 by Jan Triska
     1996-06-03 by Joe Lavelle
     1999-07-17 by Joe Lavelle
     2002-08 b by William Musser
     2005-08-27 by Jabon Eagar
     2008-08-02 by Patrick Greff
     2009-06-17 by Talon Medema (Unsuccessful)
     2009-08-22 by Patrick Greff
     2009-08-23 by Donnie Puckle
     2011-08 by Shaun Hansen
     2011-08-12 by Eric Kassan (GPS Track)
     2011-08-22 by Joe Dorohovech
     2012-06-24 by Toby Carter
     2012-08-15 by Rob Woodall (GPS Track)
     2012-08-20 by ChadL Painter (GPS Track)
     2012-09-04 by Trey Pinkerton
     2013-08-30 by Dennis Stewart
     2013-08-30 by Marshall Stewart

View ascents of peak by registered members (354 total)

Nearby Peak Searches:
     Radius Search - Nearest Peaks to Longs Peak
     Elevation Ladder from Longs Peak
     Prominence Ladder from Longs Peak


Longs Peak, like Pikes Peak, is a solitary fourteener rising dramatically over the high plains of eastern Colorado, a beacon for pioneers and a dominant local landmark. The similarities end there, though. Pikes is to the south of Denver, and Longs to the north, but more important are their differences in topography. Pikes Peak, while more famous, is a gentle, almost rounded summit featuring a road and railroad to the summit and almost no other nearby peaks of interest. 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.

Viewed from the plains, Longs Peak's southern ridge presents a jagged profile resembling a beaver trying to climb the mountain, a familiar image to readers of James Michener's novel Centennial. The northeastern aspects include the Diamond, an almost sheer 1700 foot face that is the premier big wall in America outside of Yosemite. The west slopes fall away steeply, too, with lots of talus-filled gullies. Oddly, the summit is a large, flat expanse of about a couple acres, like the top of a tree stump falling away steeply on all sides.

Indians are alleged to have trapped eagles on the summit, but the first white men to climb Longs Peak were led by one-armed John Wesley Powell, more famous for his boat trip down the Grand Canyon.

Climbing Notes:

The standard route on Longs is called the Keyhole route and it is usually done as a very long dayhike. Many, many inexperienced and out-of-shape climbers start out early in the morning and are turned back by altitude sickness, fatigue, steep rock, and bad weather. The route, while non-technical when no snow is present, is still very steep and demanding. It corkscrews around the mountain, finding the path of least resistance, but still clambers up steep rock gullies and rock-hops across endless talus.

The start of the route is on Colorado Route 7, south of Estes Park, the main tourist town for Rocky Mountain National Park. From the Longs Peak campground a good path climbs up through the forest to awesome viewpoints of the Peak and the sheer Diamond. It then switchbacks north up to the "boulder field", then makes for the distinctive Keyhole formation , a huge overhanging rock projection on the peak's north ridge. From there paint blazes show the way as the route traverses across a steep and rocky slope, heads up a steep and blocky gully often clogged with snow, and then around a couple airy corners before the steeply angled slabs that lead to the summit. It is a long and crowded 8 miles and 4850 vertical feet from the trailhead, but a popular and spectacular hike/climb nevertheless.

All other routes on Longs are technical rock climbs, including the former standard route whose steel cables have been removed. The Diamond offers routes of the highest standard, and it is where many members of the 1963 American Everest expedition, including Tom Hornbein, honed their skills.

A view of Longs Peak from the "boulder field" to the northeast. The Diamond is the sheer cliff on the left side of the peak (1994-07-12).
Web Map LinksAcme Mapper   MyTopo   Gmap4   TopoQuest
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ProminenceKey Col Page  (Detailed prominence information)
  Clean Prominence: 2940 ft/896 m
  Optimistic Prominence: 2940 ft/896 m
  Line Parent: Torreys Peak
  Key Col: Berthoud Pass    11,315 ft/3449 m
Isolation43.61 mi/70.18 km
Nearest Higher Neighbor in the PBC database:
    Torreys Peak  (SSW)
Isolation Limit Point: 39° 38' 34'' N; 105° 49' 16'' W
    ILP Map Links:
Bing Maps   Google Maps
RangesContinent: North America
Range2: Rocky Mountains
Range3: Southern Rocky Mountains
Range4: Front Range
Range5: Rocky Mountain National Park Area (Highest Point)
Range6: Longs Peak Massif (Highest Point)
Drainage BasinsSouth Platte
Gulf of Mexico
Atlantic Ocean
OwnershipLand: Rocky Mountain National Park (Highest Point)
Wilderness/Special Area: Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness Area (Highest Point)
Topo MapLongs Peak O40105c5 1:24,000
First AscentAugust 23, 1868
William Byers
L.W. Keplinger
John Wesley Powell
Route #1 Scramble: Keyhole
Trailhead: Longs Peak Campground 9405 ft/2867 m
Vertical Gain: 4850 ft/1478 m
Distance (one way): 8 mi/12.87 km
Google Maps Dynamic Map

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