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trail running
1 day ago

Great trail, one of my weekly runs. 3.2 miles around the big loop, but doesn’t get boring if your doing multiple laps. The construction that has been going on seems to be completed.

Nice paved trail, very accessible, easy. The visitor center is also very nice.

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.

on Estes Cone Trail

3 days ago

If you’re not parked in the parking lot (which fills up really early), be VERY careful where you park as they tow cars parked on the side of the road on the side of the yellow curvy road sign that is closer to the trail. As per an officer, you’re ok if you’re not parked after that sign (on the way up), not in front of a no parking sign, and have both wheels completely off the road, i.e. to the side of the white line.

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.

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!

7 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!

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

great views :) good place to hike

12 days ago

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

14 days ago

We hiked the castle trail to the medicine trail. We had some trouble at the beginning of trail starting near the north entrance. There weren't enough trail markers--we would end up at an open area with no idea which way to go & ended up at a couple of dead ends. The rest of the trail was well-marked and a mostly easy hike. It took us 2:36 to hike out to Medicine, then come back along Castle (we didn't hike the whole castle).

15 days ago

Gorgeous trek! We were lucky that it had rained the previous night so there was water flowing in streams and it was still relatively cool. Lots of color in rock, grass and flowers. My daughter found many small fossils along the way. .

Easy, simple hike.

Just wow!!

16 days ago

While Thunder Lake itself is a serene beautiful spot, getting there isn't that much fun. Tons of loose rocks underfoot and not a flower in sight makes this a boring trail. Didn't really enjoy much after Ouzel Falls to be frank.

17 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).

Very nice trails and well marked. At a steady pace the trail took about 3 hours to walk. Nice gazebo at the lake to rest and have a break. On the trail there were deer, squirrels, chipmunks and plenty of bird species. I would give the trail a moderate to hard rating. Enjoy

Fun trail! I took my kiddos and dog, and we had a blast. We enjoyed the shady hike, and got a good workout. It was lightly raining, but we barely felt any drops because the tree canopy was so thick. We will w going back for sure. Beautiful flora to look at. I can’t wait to hike it in the fall.

18 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.

19 days ago

Good trail, easy to get turned around when you reach the river, especially if you are on the wilderness loop and end up going an extra 2 miles on the northern loop! Peaceful walk with a moderate incline near the river but not too bad. Would recommend bug spray if going during the summer.

Thanks to the reviews on this app we chose this trail for the one day we had available on a long road trip from Texas to Montana. We were not disappointed. I’m 57 and healthy but no hiking experience. My son-in-law is the opposite- a life full of hiking some epic places in the US. And his 3-1/2 year old son who is pretty tough and not pampered and loves to explore. The falls are long and low and stretch along the trail. No epic 100 ft tall water falls here. I was in heaven. This was strenuous for me - I had to stop to catch my breath every so often due to the altitude. We live on the coast and this gets up to almost 10,000 ft. I loved it. We made it to Mill Lake which sits at the base of towering mountain peaks - what an epic setting. We continued on animal trails (just to make it more adventurous for my grandson) to Jewel Lake just beyond Mill Lake. Beautiful. We climbed giant granite boulders, walked in the water across a narrow portion on Jewel Lake, had birds eating crumbs out of our hand, saw a marmot or weasel, and just enjoyed God’s amazing creation. We arrived at 5:25 a.m. to avoid the crowds and I strongly recommend this. It was so busy on the way back, it just wouldn’t have been the same journey if all those people had been with us. Amazing I took soooo many pictures.

A bucket list climb that did not disappoint!

26 days ago

Great hike. The views don’t come until the top however,. Until then it is hiking through forest with some wildflowers, and then when you reach the top, the views are breathtaking.

26 days ago

We had a great day on Longs today. Started 2am, summited at 7:10am, arrived back to the car at 11:40. I drank all 3 liters of water I packed, and was glad my partner had a water purifier. Note that in addition to the restrooms at the trailhead, there are two more chances to visit the privy on the trail (at Chasm Junction and the Boulder Field). Bring your own toilet paper, just in case.

Main part of the trail was under construction when we went. We read reviews and completely covered ourselves in deep woods bug spray and were still swarmed! I plan to give it another chance at the end of fall when the bugs are gone

28 days ago

Great trail, was an awesome way to see the Badlands up close and personal. Canyons and formations you'd have no other way to see, plus some truly spectacular vistas over the Badlands if you venture off trail a bit - just be respectful of the wildlife and plant life if you do! Saddle Pass detour was totally worth it, great views and a fun little climb up one of the edges of the saddle. Medicine Root is a nice way to go back, you're up a little higher, so you don't do as much up and down and you can see more, so it's an overall faster trip. Did this in the middle of June and it got very warm after noon, so we were glad for the quicker trip back.

29 days ago

Best view you can get without climbing Long's Peak (I think, haven't done that yet). To the north we could see Lily Lake, Estes lake and Sprague lake. Bring a snack or lunch to sit and enjoy the views with. Watch out for bold Chipmunks and take your trash with you. We spent a week hiking and only picked up one small chip bag along a trail, that was a nice change from what I'm use to.


1 month ago

One of my favorite 14ers to date. Summited July 1st on a blue sky day. Healthy winds brought down the temperature for the start of July, but no a cloud in sight. Trail was dry all the way up.

1 month ago

Wife and I hiked the estes cone trail today 7.10 in a little under 4 hrs. Arrived at trailhead just before 9 and lot was full so parked on the road with a short walk back up. Great overall, moderately challenging hike, esp the last .5 mil. The trail is hard to dicern near the top and back down so be sure to notice your surroundings. View from the top is worth all those steps.

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