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Awesome! Incredible views. We camped in the Boulder fields. We booked months in advance, heads up! Morning hikers will wake you (we had some bozos playing music at 4AM hiking through camp, LNT is more than picking up garbage). Watch out for slick rocks if it rains. There were multiple water sources available. It is a popular trail. Be careful and follow the trail markers.

Walked this on the way down from the Incline. A bit steep in spots with beautiful scenery.

Beautiful views: mountain-backed lakes, harsh ridge lines, and wildflowers. Well-marked trail.

We hiked clockwise, three days, two nights -camped at Bettie Lake and Devil’s Thumb Lake, felt alone at both. Jasper Lake looked like a popular camping spot, and there was a site by the stream right before the off-shoot to Bob and Bettie Lakes if you don’t want to leave the loop. We were skinny-dipping at Devil’s Thumb and realized there was a lone fisherman across the lake getting a great show, haha, but otherwise, camping was very peaceful.

I was thankful for layers because it was really hot during the day, but surprisingly cold as soon as the sun dipped. We made Nalgene hot water bottles to supplement our 20* sleeping bags.

We hiked mid-week (Aug 8-10) and saw more hikers and trail-runners than backpackers. Some people struggling, but then also an older couple of women crushing it, and a Dad with two young kids. I’m a beginner with a heavy pack and ended each day smiling.

Brought my 35lb pup - she wore off her front pads chasing marmot in the rocks... which wouldn’t have been a problem if I had kept her on leash. She loved it. Didn’t see many (any?) dogs out towards the peak, but lots at the trailhead. Leash definitely required for the first bit.

Elevation is no joke, but plenty of places to refill water, so keep drinking!!

Side note: we stopped in Ned on the way home and ate at the Thai restaurant - killer $10 lunch deal!

My entire body feels like I got hit by a truck. Type 3 fun for sure. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before beginning your trek, though it’s really not as sketchy as others say it is, just be aware.

Arrived at 5:15 am on Saturday and there were a lot of cars parked on the side of the road but still plenty of space. People can't seem to agree on which way to go- I decided to go counterclockwise and I'm very glad I did.

I have been up to Jasper Lake a couple of times but this is the first time I tried the loop. In my opinion the north side of the loop is more scenic. It's best to do it in the morning when the lighting is better and you still have energy. Also I like steep inclines more than steep declines as they're more exciting and less stressful on the knees. Saw a bull moose about halfway up to Jasper Lake. That was pretty terrifying as he was only 25 yards or so off of the trail hidden behind some trees. I snapped a quick picture and got out of there.

The trail is pretty easy. The distance is the hard part. I was feeling pretty haggard on the last 3-4 miles. Got back to the parking lot a little before 3PM. I probably could of finished at 2 if I hadn't of taken so many pictures.

Overall an awesome hike! My favorite one so far

I like to do the Peak at least once a year. It’s a nice challenge and worth it. The ascent took me 6 hours but I have done it in 4 1/2. Not my best time, obviously. I believe the average time for ascent is 8 hours. I did the ascent and descent for a total time of 11 hours. The last couple of miles are the hardest and my brain always says, “why am I doing this”! But, you just push through it and are happy to get to the top.

Make sure to dress in layers. The weather can change quickly. I like to take a camelback and I don’t bring much food. I’m just not real hungry.

The change in the terrain is always interesting It’s beautiful country. Thankful to have it as my backyard.

Total miles my app recorded was 23.85 miles.

backpacking
4 days ago

Backpacked in to Helms lake 8/6 - 8/7. A bit marshy getting around helms lake but the trail was in good condition and relatively easy to follow otherwise. Lost a blue nalgene somewhere in the helms lake area.

backpacking
4 days ago

Awesome trail with dispersed camping spots easy to find. Light elevation gain for first 2.5 miles and then it increases significantly thereafter. Excellent camping right after the first creek crossing at 2 miles in. There are flattened logs to walk across so no getting wet during the creek crossings. We went further and camped just short of Helms Lake (5.25 miles in) in the tree-covered area. Wonderful views and a few dispersed campsites easy to find.

hiking
4 days ago

The fairly level, rolling trail for 2.5 miles is a bit unique and nice. After that is a steady, steep climb up 3 miles to a saddle, which gave us the work out we wanted. It's all in a pretty forest with limited views but the granite outcrops that we did see were great. We saw about a dozen friendly people on a Saturday in August, so not bad for the crowds.

This trail was amazing. I went two nights 8/6-7. I suggest going two nights. Spending a whole day just relaxing is worth it.

I went up solo. It took Me quite a while to make it up. Start early and take breaks as needed. It’s not a race. The altitude was pretty rough for me. The trail is pretty rocky so bring solid foot wear. Also many parts of the trail are through thick brush. Long sleeves will save some scratches. On the way back down by the ponds past the creek ford I encountered moose. But I came up on the with no coverage or protection. The bull was chill enough that I could back off slowly and not spook it, but easily could have been bad. Be mindful out there.

The people up there were all great. Just a group of strangers all there to relax and enjoy the hot springs. Everyone was there for a great time. Don’t be uptight cause there will be drinking, probably nudity and a few were smoking pot.

I would suggest bringing foot wear you can wear in the spring. It’s great but the bottom and edges are super rocky. It’s very painful getting in and out. Sunscreen and bug spray cause flys and mosquitoes were all over me. Also don’t skimp on cold weather stuff. The days were very nice, but even early August as soon as the sun sets behind the mountains it got VERY cold.

Amazing climb, I’m 61 years old, have been doing CrossFit for three years and still got my butt kicked by this hike. This was one of the most exhilarating and foolish things I’ve done in my life (but truly rewarding). The weather was perfect. Don’t forget when you get down, you still have a six mile hike back to the car! Acclimate for a week, we went up after just 48 hours in Estes. Call me crazy, but I would do it again!

hiking
5 days ago

Standard Keyhole Route

I did this Wednesday, 8/8/18, from the Longs Peak Trailhead. I arrived in the lot around 2:20am and started at 2:31. There were probably 8 parking spots left.

As others have said, it's a pretty straightforward hike on a well maintained trail to the Boulderfield. Once to the Boulderfield (about 5am) I stopped to use the privy (two there, looked like they were building two more). The Boulderfield is well marked with cairns - even in dawn lighting conditions I was able to see cairns. I joined a handful of others in the lighting shelter atop the Boulderfield to wait on a little more light (and eat, change layers from jacket to vest).

I went through the Keyhole around 6am. It's where the real work starts. But seriously. It's no joke beyond the Keyhole - the hard work and sketchy-ness is just beginning. And it's both hard and sketchy. About the sketch aspect of Longs...listen to yourself - if you're too scared, turn around! But I was able to summit because I mentally focused on the next immediate challenge rather than the 100x challenges beyond (some of which you can see). I think people pysch themselves out by getting overwhelmed by all the impending difficulties.

I summited around 8:15am, spent about 15 minutes at summit, and was back to my car at 12:40pm-ish.

A few extra notes/thoughts:
-Per my GAIA GPS app: 13.93 miles, 10:06 total time, 4,871' ascent
-This is NOT a hike! It's not a good first 14er or one to take lightly. I'm serious - a slight mistake after the Keyhole can seriously injure or kill you (or someone else).
-Water. I drink a lot of water and went through 3.5 liters on ascent. I filtered water in the Boulderfield on the descent.
-Helmet. I'd estimate 90% of people don't wear one. I didn't (because I don't own one) but I'm not gonna lie - I wish I would've had one. Falling rocks/boulders would've just been one less worry in the Trough.
-Do others around you in the Trough a solid. If you cause a rock/boulder to come loose yell "rock" so those below you can be aware.
-I was glad to have a pair of light jogger type gloves for after the Keyhole. It's a little chilly in the shade but the rocks are cold and you'll be using your hands a lot!

The views down by the lakes were incredible. The beginning of the hike is not as scenic, but was worth the wait.

Absolutely beautiful hike! Flowers/colors are amazing! We hiked in on 8/3 for 1 night.
Took us about 5 hours to get to the first camp site #19 and at least 30 minutes more to get to site #4 (our site). The hike from #19 to #4 may have been the most difficult part of the hike. We saw 3 moose, a few deer and a far off bear sunning itself in a rock near silver dollar lake! Rangers stopped us on our way and asked to see our permit, ID and bear canister. The springs were spectacular and surprisingly uncrowded. Took us 3.5 hours to hike out.

Not for the faint of heart. This trail has serious elevation change and the trail on the Maroon Bell side of the pass is full of rocks.

Beautiful hike ... LONG hike, but beautiful. Totally worth it!

Long hike, challenging climb after the keyhole. The trail
was well-maintained, the weather was (almost) perfect!

Did this hike a few years ago. Totally worth it!

great views :) good place to hike

hiking
10 days ago

Best and most exhausting trek of my life. Can’t wait to get back!

hiking
10 days ago

Friends and I hiked half of this trail (one way), from Crested Butte to Aspen on 8/1. We took Dolly’s shuttle to the trailhead. No restrooms at trailhead from this direction. The hike is beautiful. Flower season was early this year, but we still had many to view. The lupine smell amazing! Lots of water crossings, they weren’t as big as we had expected. It’s dry this year. I went through about 2 liters of water. I was carrying a filter, didn’t need to use it. Unfortunately, wildfire smoke was evident in the sky. I don’t normally use poles, but had them on this trip. Glad I did! The trail has a lot of loose rocks, especially above Crater Lake. We saw and heard many pika, fresh bear scat (we think), bees and a few hummingbirds. The trail was more crowded than expected, still wonderful. Great campsites and backcountry spots if you’ll be hiking part way or half, then back. We again used Dolly’s shuttle back to CB. Dolly’s arrangements need to be made well in advance. I would possibly plan this hike differently next time... but would love to see it again!

Definitely worth the hike. Just be proactive about drinking water. I carried some high-energy snacks and drank about every 1/2 mile. The end of the hike was kind of chaotic because the trail isn't super visible, but the feeling of accomplishment was 10000% worth it.

Tons of wildlife and multiple eco-systems. Water is readily available and camp sites (permit only) are very nice. Portions of the loop are very secluded. Wonderful waterfalls and plenty of day hikes if you want to stay extra nights.

hiking
14 days ago

What an amazing trail. We followed a river the whole time... my dog had a blast. No bikers, very few people - the falls at the top: beautiful

Just wow!!

Just awful.
1. TH starts in residential area
2. No views until 5 miles in..
3. Until you’re 5 miles in, you’re walking over debris and dead trees..
4. Steady incline with no promise of a view at the top took the fun out of it

hiking
15 days ago

If I were to do this hike again, I’d definitely backpack to the keyhole on night 1 and then summit the next day. Hiking 15 miles with 5100 ft gain was incredibly taxing physically and mentally; my hiking partner and I took 18.5 hours RT (including at least about 2ish hours of break and napping) due to lack of sleep and bouts of altitude sickness. The first 5.5 miles weren’t bad but once we got to the boulder field everything became significantly harder. My least favorite part of the hike was ascending/descending 600 ft up the trough, which was incredibly steep with loose rocks and very large boulders. We got through the narrows fairly quickly but it was definitely a bit sketchy at some parts, so do be careful here. The homestretch is steeper than the trough but much shorter and isn’t nearly as loose. The hike wasn’t enjoyable for my body in the slightest but the views of the mountains past the keyhole and at the summit were absolutely beautiful and spectacular. Very tough hike that I probably will not do again until next season (and will probably try backpacking next time).

Beautiful but difficult trail. This is my first 14er& I’m a 25year old Colorado Springs native. The altitude didn’t bother me, it was the intense incline that made me wish I’d spent more time in the gym doing leg presses and on the stair master.
I overall drank and carried 4L& didn’t need a water filter. You can refill at Barr Camp, but I’d say the majority of my water I used after sunrise& after Barr Camp.
We started at 4am& summitted by noon, with longer rest stops at Barr camp, and the A frame.
We decided to have a ride pick us up and we were so glad we did! As soon as we left the summit a heavy rain storm rolled in.

The whole trail from the beginning is nothing but steep ascension and had my quads throbbing (except for about 2 miles before Barr Camp). The last 3 miles above tree line are the most grueling and took me way longer than my average MPH for the trail. I used hiking poles and they were a saving grace especially at the end! Getting a donut and having a summit beer at the top though definitely made it all worth it!!

Overall was super happy I did it, but will definitely return next summer with a little more training under my belt to make it easier on my body and hiking partner.

hiking
16 days ago

Wow that rock gully is tough, but what a great summit to relax on when you finish. Started at 3am, finished 12:15pm, 20 minutes at the top.

Very fun trail. Just hiked to the top and took 6 hours. This is coming from Utah. Left at 4 am in the morning and beat the rainstorms

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