The Keyhole and Longs Peak via Longs Peak Trail is a 13.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Allenspark, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
13.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,881 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

cross country skiing

hiking

horseback riding

snowshoeing

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

no dogs

The trail is well labeled and easy to find due to the traffic it receives. The most difficult part is doing the boulder field, however if you take your time most people can navigate it without trouble. The view from the rock formation keyhole is incredible.

hiking
7 days ago

Did this hike in July on a clear day. Left at 0200, reaches the summit at 0830 and returned to the car by 1430. Views are awesome. The views before the keyhole were cool and once you cross to the other side the views change and get even better. Some slippery areas, but very doable.

22 days ago

Awesome hike. The rock after the keyhole is pretty darn worn from all the hikers. It was super slick even in completely dry conditions - wouldn’t recommend if any ice.

hiking
24 days ago

9/25 Extremely challenging with poor weather. Temps were well below freezing and winds strong from Chasm split through Boulder field. Sustained winds 35+ @ Granite Pass. Absolutely miserable. Took 5 hours to 6.5 mile Keyhole. 9 of 12 people turned around @ Keyhole. Not sure if any made it. Ice and strong winds stopped me there. Plus I blew my time window taking so long to Keyhole. Had a little AMS. I live at 800 ft ASL and had 2 days to acclimate. I’m an avid runner and in shape, but winds and cold kicked my butt. Still worth it; enjoyed the views. I will be back but in summer with lower winds. A guide said he was 2 for 5 on the year. Ranger said only 35% make their 1st attempt. I used all 4L of water and sandwich, cliff bars and Gu. Dressed same as snow skiing. Leave before 2am to arrive Keyhole by sunrise and snack/recharge. 13.2 miles to Keyhole and back. Good luck and watch the weather.

hiking
26 days ago

Great hike started at 315 stopped at the key hole very windy the morning I was there some were continuing on to the summit awesome views at sunrise at the boulder field go back next summer to try again

1 month ago

We summited Long’s Peak yesterday 9/18/18. We started on the trailhead at 2:45am and made it back to the car at 5:15pm. This is an intimidating, grueling hike. My body hurts all over. My wife is 53 years old, I’m 54. We trained for this hike. We hiked Half Dome on Yosemite in June and wanted another challenge. This hike is much more challenging due to the altitude, exposure and weather. People were turning around at the keyhole saying it was too dangerous with the windy conditions. We almost turned around also. We decided to go a little distance on the ledges and the wind was less there, so, we continued on. The trough is very tough. It seemed to take forever. The narrows was frightening. Homestretch scary too. But, we made it. Incredible views on top! Worth it all! We didn’t see anyone our age on the hike. We were the old people. Best advice I can give you is take your time, every place you put step, make sure you are on solid rock, and hug the walls on the ledges and narrows, keep your balance and you will make it. One small mistake could very well be your last.

1 month ago

Great hike loved the last stretch, only took about 50 breaks, the last half mile haha, awesome experience. Can’t wait to go again

hiking
1 month ago

I moved to Estes about a week before attempting longs peak and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart! (My first 14er OOPS!) I hiked Estes Cone, Flattop, and Hallets to prepare for Longs. My friend and I started at 2 am and reached the summit by 9:30, we finished the hike at 5. I’d advise taking extreme caution on the way down and listen to your body! Take lots of breaks and don’t be afraid to turn around!

hiking
1 month ago

Finally made to peak on second attempt. one of the hardest one especially route after key hole was real mountain climbing for me. started at 2 am and still crowded. very refreshing once reached the peak.

hiking
1 month ago

Could only make it to Keyhole and due to weather couldn't continue. Long and hard hike but worth a try.

1 month ago

I did this yesterday for the 2nd consecutive year. This year was much harder because there was a continuous HARD wind throughout the climb. The wind gusts were about 80 miles per hour at the top of The Trough and at The Narrows. This is a serious mountain under any conditions but yesterday's wind was severe. A 23 year old woman fell at The Ledges and suffered what appeared to be a serious head injury. Hikers had to carry her to The Boulder Field and she was Life Flighted to a hospital. A search party was also looking for a climber missing since Tuesday. I don't recommend this to be anyone's first 14er. Make sure you have the experience and skill to enjoy the beautiful views!

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great hike. I would recommend getting a few 14ers or more challenging hikes under the belt first. The NPS doesn't actually rate the route as a hike, but a technical climb. Pretty standard hike up to the keyhole. After the keyhole there is plenty of scrambling and technical hiking/climbing with a descent amount of exposure. I will definitely bring a helmet for the trough next time as well.

hiking
1 month ago

This was an absolutely awe-inspiring journey. Challenging, beautiful, technical in areas, and pushes your mind and body to its limits.

DON’T forget that you still have 7-ish miles after you Summit. Lots of people have said this, but please be aware. We started at 1:49am, summited at 9am, and returned to car at 2:15. It was a must-do hike. Be prepared, bring lots of water, LAYERS LAYERS LAYERS, powerful headlamp, spikes just in case, and possibly a helmet. Helmet isn’t necessary, but some people wore them for the keyhole portion of the route. Bring a buddy for moral support.

1 month ago

This is a must do! The only reason to start super early is to secure a parking lot!! Seriously arrive at the parking lot at 2am, sleep until 5 and start the trail. The way to the keyhole is long but not as hard as Flattop. We took 3:30 hours to reach the keyhole, non stop. The problem is, because we were in the night, the cold was horrible and the wind was awful. Had to wait 1:30 hour to sunrise so that we could continue. SUPER COLD!!!
Expect heavy winds, cold and changing weather.
The view from the peacock lake (chasm lake) is amazing!

hiking
1 month ago

Arrived in Estes Park on a Sunday evening from Oklahoma City. Got up Monday morning and summited Twin Sisters. Got up Tuesday morning and did the hike to Emerald Lake. Got up Wednesday morning at 1:30 am and headed to Longs Peak trailhead and began what was a life changing journey to the summit through the keyhole. I was with a lifelong friend that I consider to be as close to my big brother as he could be without blood relation. He has done this route 5-6 times and also done it via technical climb on the face some twenty years ago. He is 63, I am 58. We made it to the summit and back down in about 11.5 hours. It was awesome!! Total gut check!! I am proud to say this was my first 14er. Crawling through the keyhole was like leaving the world as you know it and entering a new world. This new world is a place where no mistakes are allowed. If you make a mistake it will most likely be your last. Every move must be calculated and well planned. Both going up and especially coming back down. This is the real deal!! Awesome!!

hiking
1 month ago

The hardest 14er in Colorado. Sumitted last Saturday. Started at 2am, back down at 2. Was sketchy at the top, eventually rained, snowed, and sleeted by the time we got down. This hike is no joke.

1 month ago

Amazing hike and very rewarding. Strenuous especially after the keyhole. Started at 3 AM and was back down to trailhead at 1:52 PM, spent about 45 minutes at the top. Beautiful views at the top. Do not underestimate this hike, come prepared with layers, gloves, hat and plenty of nutrition/electrolytes and plenty of water and always be prepared to turn back in case of inclement weather.

It's very doable if you come prepared (don't wear running shoes).

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful, awesome, scary, hard and fun. Everything you would want in a summit hike. It took us 14 hours from parking lot trail head to summit and back to trail head. Keyhole Route is physically challenging, especially after hiking the six miles to the start of the route.

2 months ago

good views on the back side of the mountain theres some rock climbing after the keyhole but a good hike

hiking
2 months ago

Climbed Longs Peak to celebrate my 50th birthday. Had a great group of friends and my son along. It was my first 14er and was an awesome experience.

2 months ago

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.

2 months ago

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.

2 months ago

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
2 months 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!

2 months ago

Wanted to write a review because I think the reviews here fail to point out one thing: you can die on this trail. A couple people a year on average are killed, usually due to falling. If you are at all nervous about exposure, you will probably turn back before the summit (most people do). Which is not to say it's not one of the most amazing hiking experiences in Colorado, and certainly the most amazing in the front range. Just understand that this is not for the casual hiker or even the advanced hiker that does not prefer high risk, because it is very high risk.

2 months ago

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

2 months ago

great views :) good place to hike

hiking
2 months ago

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

2 months ago

Just wow!!

hiking
2 months 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).

hiking
2 months 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.

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