Peak:  Longs Peak (14er)
 Route:  Keyhole Route
 Range:  Front
 Posted By:  MissH
 Date of Info:  06/23/2012
 Date Posted:  06/26/2012

Perfect conditions. Snow patch on the right side of the Trough is completely avoidable. Spots of ice (and melting ice) throughout are completely avoidable as well and should not pose a challenge. Get to trailhead early if you want to have a chance to park in the lot, saw lots of cars parked down the road on my way out and lot was probably 60%-75% full at 3 am when I arrived. Some photos attached (Homestretch and Narrows) show you how dry it is now. And a fun one to show how windy it was

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2Image #3

 Comments or Questions

Future visit
06/27/2012 00:24
Just found this site yesterday and signing up to get posts of conditions. Any more advice for first timers to this trail. Coming from California on a visit to that area in the next few weeks. I am an experienced hiker. Done Half Dome many, many times but looking for another challenge. So this is my first 14er. Any advice would be appreciated. How long did it take you to finish?


Future visit reply
06/27/2012 01:54
Hi Lablover. It took me 13 hours total with breaks, and this is my first year of 14ers. I know other people who are much quicker than me. It's a pretty long trail, but not steep at all (of course the last mile is steep ). If you are an experienced hiker, you'll probably be just fine. A lot of people start super early (I started at 3 am) that way they avoid afternoon storms (that last mile would be awful on wet rock and lightning is a serious hazard). I wasn't worried about weather and started that early anyway so I could take my time and still be down for dinner . Oh, for gear... it seems the lighter you are, the faster you go (duh). In fact, I saw people with minimal clothing (leggings, shorts, t-shirts) and tennis shoes doing better then me with all my gear! Some people camp but I think most do this in one day. Also, if you can acclimatize somehow, I recommend that so you don't get a headache or worse. Just some stuff to think about, that you might already know... Have fun and good luck!


06/27/2012 20:27
Thanks so much for your input. Is the trail marked well? Sounds very doable. I have coerced 2 of my kids to go with me too! They are 21 and 25 so they have youth on their side whereas I have experience. One more quick question . . . any problem hiking this trail with all the fires happening in CO?


One more question
06/27/2012 22:59
We are totally new to this area. Vacationing in Estes Park within the next few weeks. Do you have another recommended trail if we decide not to tackle Long's Peak?


No problem :)
06/28/2012 13:13
Yes, the trail is completely identifiable the entire way. In Boulder Field there are cairns you can follow, but of course as long as you head towards the Keyhole (which you can't miss), then you can go however you want. Through the Keyhole, the trail is marked with bullseyes that you can't miss. In the Trough, it was sometimes not obvious, but as soon as you go up a little bit, you spot the next one. You can also scramble your own way in there.

So far, I believe the park is completely accessible. I saw the Estes Park fire on my descent last Saturday but it wasn't an obstacle. I think they have extinguished that one by now.

Regarding other trails, my friend just spent a few days as a ”tour guide” in Estes Park with some out of town friends of his. Here is the link to his report. (url)

If that link doesn't work, just search for Dillonsarnelli's most recent report. Have fun!!

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