Birding and Exploring Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park with Kaiyote Tours link to home page

Long Peak, 14,259 feet
Rocky Mountain National Park
Estes Park, Colorado

colorado birding photosLongs Peak is the highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park at 14,259 feet. It is the 15th highest Peak in the state of Colorado. The Longs Peak trailhead starts at 9,400 feet, which makes the elevation gain to the summit 4,859 feet. It is 7.4 miles to the summit via the Keyhole route.

The first documented ascent of Longs Peak was by Major John Wesley Powell in 1868. This is also the same man who was first to boat through the Grand Canyon. Longs Peak is named after Major Stephen Long who led an expedition to survey the Front Range Rocky Mountains in 1820.

imageSummer is short at 14,000 feet. The best time to hike Longs Peak is from mid July through August. During most of the year, getting to the top of Longs Peak is considered a technical climb because of snow and ice conditions on the mountain.

The Keyhole route to the summit has five major sections: The trail to the Keyhole, the Ledges, the Trough, the Narrows and the Homestretch.

imageThe Keyhole, 13,160feet: It is a beautiful hike just getting to the Keyhole. The view from the Keyhole is spectacular. For those that feel Longs Peak is too much for them, we highly recommend a hike to the Keyhole. It is 6.3 miles each way.

The Ledges: From the Keyhole, it is .4 miles to the base of the Trough. The ledges are narrow and require climbing over rocks, with exposure to falls.

The Trough: The trough is a short (.3 mile) and steep 700 imagefoot climb to the start of the Narrows. The trough has a lot of loose rock and can be very slippery in bad weather. This area holds snow late in the year.

The Narrows, 13865 feet: From the start of the Narrows to the base of the Homestretch, there is a 3 foot wide ledge that traverses along the south side of the mountain for .3 miles.

imageThe Homestretch: Is a very short .1 mile scramble to the top. A lot of the rock is smooth and becomes very slippery when wet.


We usually like to be on the trail and to be hiking by 2:00am. So we often meet, or will pick you up at your hotel, sometimes as early as 1:00am. It can take any where from 10 – 14 hours to hike Longs Peak. You need to be in excellent physical shape.

Longs Peak Pricing:
1 - 2 people $365 and $35 for each additional person.

Hiking fee does not include your admission fee into Rocky Mountain National Park.

Kaiyote Tours is authorized by the National Park Service, Department of Interior, to conduct services in Rocky Mountain National Park.


You should bring

  1. Lunch and Snacks
  2. Liter water bottle
  3. Sunscreen (for lips too)
  4. Hats – both for sun and warmth
  5. Mittens
  6. Sunglasses
  7. Headlamp
  8. Camera


  1. Layered comfortable clothes.
  2. Be prepared for both very warm and very cold weather. Wind/rain pants and jacket are required and Gortex is preferred. Afternoon lightening, rain and hail is likely. Bring a warm hat, gloves, neck gaiter and fleece jackets.
  3. Shoes: Either hiking boots or strong athletic shoes, as long as they are already broken in and comfortable. Hiking boots that go above your ankle are strongly recommended because they will support and protect your ankles from injury.

Click here for Maps

Kaiyote Tours Longs Peak Policiesimage

Payment and cancellation policy

Full payment is due 72 hours prior to tour. There are no refunds within 72 hours of tour.  We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.  

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Recommended by Backpacker Magazine and Fodor's
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