Longs Peak casts a siren’s song over many people who are looking to test their mettle in the mountains. Head South from Estes Park on Highway 7 for 9.2 miles. Longs Peak, the Keyhole Route. Longs Peak is an extremely difficult hike that should only be attempted in good weather conditions. Longs Peak (14,255'), in Rocky Mountain National Park, dominates the skyline in the northern Front Range area of Colorado. We left the trailhead at 4:20am and got back around 6:00pm. Snow covers the RMNP high country until mid-July each year. Rocky Mountain National Park 970-586-1206. Longs Peak Summit- Keyhole Route A strenuous out and back excursion that will have you transverse 13.5 miles in elevations increasing over 5,140 feet, the Longs Peak Summit — Keyhole Route is the easiest way to reach to Longs Peak Summit. Trail Summary: Longs Peak via the Keyhole Route is a heavily trafficked hike in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. We summited around 11 after getting super lucky with the weather/wind/crowds and the descent after the keyhole section was again pretty easy. Use your best judgment to safely ascend the route and safeguard your fellow climbers. The route is marked with painted yellow and red bulls-eyes at crucial spots. To climb Longs it takes stamina, however it is a deadly climb that takes lives. The approach to the boulder field is a steady incline but pretty easy for an experienced hiker. There is no underestimating this ascent & heed the warning signs posted about poor weather & being self-reliant. Plan on spending about half the time it took you to ascend to complete your descent back to the trailhead. The route is pretty straightforward UNTIL you attain the Keyhole, then route-finding becomes more tricky & there's class 3 exposure. If you missed a part of climbing Longs Peak click a link below to get caught up: Longs Peak Guide – Part 1; Hiking Longs Peak – Part 2; My new friend Miguel starts out across the section known as the Ledges while climbing Longs Peak. Date of experience: August 2019. The Keyhole route is about 16 miles round trip and has about 5000 feet of elevation gain. Altitude: 14,255 ft. Elevation Gain: 5,100 ft, 15 miles return. Longs Peak has quite a death history even after the fact that two out of three who start out to climb Longs turn back at the keyhole: 55 people have died while attempting to climb Longs Peak. So worth it!! Scramble up right on broken ledges and around a rib for another 400 feet to the base of the final section--The Homestretch. It looks imposing from every side, but the “Keyhole” notch allows passage to the summit. The Keyhole Route is by far the most popular route on the mountain. While she and her climbing partner Walter Kiener descended the North Face, Valle fell 100 feet and landed in a snowdrift unhurt. Technical gear is not necessary to climb this route during the summer, but gloves (and a helmet as an extra precaution) is recommended. This section can be difficult and dangerous in bad weather or if there's snow. At 14,259 feet, it’s one of the state’s proudest 14ers, and the only one within Rocky Mountain National Park. 1 Helpful vote. From the end of the East Longs Peak Trail in the Boulderfield, the Keyhole Route begins. Located in Rocky Mountain National Park, just under 10 miles southwest of Estes Park, Longs Peak is the highest point in Boulder County at 14,259 feet. The slightly lower peak to it's South is Mt. Start Time: 2am to 4am to be on your way down by noon and avoid potential lightning storms. If you stray off-route, the difficulty quickly increases. 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