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East Longs Peak Trail

HARD 68 reviews
#6 of 98 trails in

East Longs Peak Trail is a 13.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, CO that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

13.6 miles 4786 feet Out & Back

hiking

ice climbing

rock climbing

skiing

snowboarding

snowshoeing

horseback riding

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

no dogs

Give yourself plenty of time to summit! Most information recommends close to 14 hours to complete this. It has a history of being a very electric (lightning) mountain. The winds can be very strong at the keyhole, yet once you pass through a little ways, they become more gentle. Adding Chasm Lake onto this can be a nice reward, offering perspective as to the peak you just summited.


2 days ago

hiking

Pilkes Peak is a great 14er for those who have done one before. It's a bit more difficult than most and is a long hike (a little over 13 mi round trip). The hike up to the Keyhole trail is similar to most 14ers, however, when you pass through the Keyhole the trail to the peak changes dramatically and can be a bit intense for those not ready for scrambling.

I highly recommend once you've completed a few easier to moderate 14ers.


10 days ago

So much fun! Lots of people on a weekend but still worth it. Took about 8.5 hours


11 days ago

Be prepared to spend 14hrs on this trail.


14 days ago

Very difficult to get there. We started at 2 am, would leave at 1:30 ish next time. The way there is dark so you don't see how uphill it is. It has lots of Rocky steps that never end, all uphill there. Coming down in the daylight made me realize why it's done at night- so you can't see how awful it is and quit. Realized Boulder field does have a slight trail, look for the stacked rocks! Getting to the keyhole is kinda like rock climbing towards the end. The rocks get big and very steep. Very little room in the actual keyhole to sit, it gets claustrophobic. Was too tired to attempt to summit- thought it would be hard to get back through Boulder field but it wasn't hard for me. Poles are a must and 4 big water bottles. Beautiful trail when the sun comes up, gophers and rocks everywhere


24 days ago

rock climbing

past the keyhole is when it becomes more then a hike. Absouluty breataking


24 days ago

Such a fun hike with breathtaking views. The hike to keyhole wasn't too bad, but past the keyhole can be pretty brutal, especially the trough. The homestretch wasn't as bad as when people explained it to me. Overall the best hike I've ever done.


28 days ago

hiking

Excellent but not for the unexperienced hiker. Conditions can be harsh and changes drastic (I was either freezing or burning underneath the sun). There are two points to stock up on fresh glacier water. It's delicious. Drink it. Don't eat the flowers. The death march over the boulders and up the final stretch of Long's Peak includes some "don't f*** up" 5.4 slab scrambles. Be smart. Get an alpine start. Bring both a fleece and a puffy. Bring plenty of snacks. Enjoy.


1 month ago

hiking

Most fun hiking/scrambling I have ever had! Perfect trail to cut your teeth on scrambles.


1 month ago

It's inaccurate to say you hike Long's because of the non-technical climbing required to reach the top. This was one of the most, if not the most, challenging experience I've ever had.

As a non-local and only having didn't 3 months here in Colorado, I've completed five 14ers, with this being my last. Becoming acclimated was timely, and going on various hikes to build up that endurance has helped substantially.

However, compared to locals and regulars, I think I've done well. I can't encourage people who have not prepared to do this climb.


2 months ago


2 months ago

hiking

Wonderful.


2 months ago

hiking

We backpacked to Boulderfield the first day of the Fourth of July weekend. Took us almost 6 hours to get there since we were way over loaded. The view up to Boulderfield was marvelous, with a decent elevation gain and changes in vegetation from tall trees to bushes to tundra and finally bald. If I only did a day hike to Boulderfield I would also give it five stars.

Camping at Boulderfield was something new to me. I had never camped above the tree line and the condition looked very harsh. We had to hop between the rocks to 100 yards away to cook and store the bear canisters. It was quite windy that night but fortunately it didn't rain in the afternoon. The Ramen noodle packets we brought were bulging like a ball when we took them out...

The next morning we started hiking towards the Key Hole at 6. It took us more than half an hour and some hard scramble to get there. At the Key Hole I felt I was about to be blown off the ledge, and I got scared of the height. One of us returned to the campsite as planned, while two of us (myself included) were supposed to continue. I couldn't move to the Ledges so my buddy moved on while I hesitated. I sat there for 10 min and decided to move in small steps to as far as I feel comfortable. Somewhere along the Ledges I was stopped by a boulder that I could not pass so I sat there watching the absolutely stunning view while feeling sorry for myself. An older gentleman came and encouraged me to walk on. I wouldn't have made an inch further hadn't he grab my hand and literally steered me across the ledge and snow patches.

I met up with my buddy (who was now as scared as me) at the bottom of the Trough. He was thinking of quitting but saw that I had made it to that point also so we continued. It was very hard climbing up when the Trough was still covered by snow. At the Narrows we became more brave (that or we were so beaten by the Trough that we didn't care any more), and saw the gentleman that helped me on his way back. We also saw a couple of people running up and managed to stay just at the edge of the rocks, while we clung to the wall and moving like turtles and having short breaths. What are these people made off?!

Homestretch was another couple of hours. We were the last two to reach the summit (12:30pm) and felt proud, excited, but at the same time anxious (crossing our fingers that we didn't get struck by lightening though it was still clear sky).

On the descend at Homestretch my buddy slipped and fell some 30 yards and was fortunately stopped by a big rock but his body was bruised (no major injury). My mind went blank when I saw him roll across the slope. After confirming he was OK I slid down on my butt (eventually got a soaked cold butt) all the way to the joint with the Narrows. I was disheartened to see the snow patch that I walked over on the ascend had melted into a shiny slippery ice patch. Below me there was no rock to stop me had I fell, but the next rock that I could step on was 7 feet below and 5 feet to the right. I was too short for a solid grip on either side, and my mind went blank again thinking it was a risk or die situation and I was not ready to die! So I gathered all my courage to make a hole with the tip of my ice axe (while I leaned on my back facing the cliff) and hung my body weight to the axe and swung to the lower right rock stop. Thank god I made it and I honestly don't even know how. My poor buddy must have been devastated when he made to the same point 5 min later. But he magically pulled it off too.

I experienced some moderate high altitude sickness at the Ledges. I was also dehydrated to the point that I'd kneel down to lick directly from the snow water puddles and grab ice that was covered by little flies to eat. Height became no threat and I walked slowly towards the Key Hole like a zombie. By the time I emerged at the Key Hole it was already 5:30 pm. It took me 40 more minutes to get back to the campground and it felt awful.

We were initially planning to be back in 6 hours and hike down to catch our flight back at 10:30pm in Denver. It was impossible. So we decided to camp another night and buy three last minute tickets the next day. If I had walked one more step I felt I would have been dead. Our poor friend had waited anxiously for 6 hours without knowing if we were still alive. At around 10pm my buddy insisted calling his girlfriend to let her know about our situation. When he managed to walk 50 yards away to pick up some cellphone signal and called her at home, she told him she had just called the ranger station 10 min ago and a rescue had started (I suppose it would have started the next morning, not deep into the night). He asked her to call them back to call off the rescue...otherwise it would have been really embarrassing...

Overall it was a scary experience for me, but because we didn't anticipate time as realistically as we should have, and we didn't bring enough water (I only brought one bottle). I wish I was bett


2 months ago

hiking


3 months ago

Will do this hike 100 times over


3 months ago

hiking


3 months ago

hiking

Best hike I've ever done, very demanding though. You want to start at about 3am, be off the peak before the afternoon thunderstorms roll in around 2ish and pack a lot of food and water. There are places to camp in the woods along the trail and just prior to the keyhole itself if you want to break up the trip into a couple of days.


5 months ago

hiking

Long Day, not what I would consider fun but a great experience. More of a challenge but I'll do it again someday! Hiking at night during the perseid meteor shower is cool!
Suggested read "longs peak experience"
and "last child in the woods" Richard Louv


6 months ago

WINDY!!! Tough to stay upright, had to turn around.


6 months ago

Fun. Hard. Worth it. Pack a full lunch and warm clothes clothes.


6 months ago