14,259 (15th highest)
USGS Quad: Longs Peak Trails Illustrated®
TOPO Map # 200 (Rocky Mountain National Park)
Click here to purchase Trails Illustrated® maps for this route.
National Park Service, Rocky Mountain National Park: 970.586.1206
Keyhole Route—use of this route will help to reduce impacts to this Fourteener’s fragile alpine environment. For detailed route information including pictures, maps, and elevation profiles, click here.
Route Information and Additional Resources
The trailhead is approximately ten miles south of Estes Park, CO. The keyhole route runs from the Longs Peak Ranger Station to the summit of Longs Peak, via the “Boulderfield” and the “Keyhole”. To reduce impact to the environment, stay on the trail the entire ascent and descent. This route is in the Rocky Mountain National Park where all backcountry camping requires a permit. The backcountry office phone number is 970-586-1242. Contact Rocky Mountain National Park for current route and weather conditions.
The above information does not replace the need to consult additional maps and Colorado Fourteener Guidebooks for more detailed route descriptions. We suggest checking multiple resources before departing on any hike. Keep in mind that not all guidebooks list this recommended route and that each guidebook’s description or route name may vary slightly.
Peak Specific Environmental and Safety Concerns
Planning ahead and being prepared for your climb is the best thing you can do to ensure a safe and enjoyable climb. Conditions on the peak vary greatly throughout the year. The Keyhole route is very long, and can be extremely technical in poor weather and during winter, spring, and fall. Generally, the keyhole route is “non-technical” most of July and August. Daily summer afternoon storms build quickly. Lightning is a major hazard as much of the route is highly exposed. Be in the best physical and mental state possible.
Longs is a highly popular peak with a short climbing season in the summer when 95% of people climb. Climb in small groups, keep noise to a minimum and yield to faster hikers or those climbing up hill, by stepping off the trail and letting them pass. Walking off the trail kills the surrounding vegetation and creates multiple trails where only one is needed. Respect wildlife along the route . Keep your distance, do not feed them anything, and remember…you are visiting their home.