Please contact us for advice and current route conditions.
This is the easiest route to the summit. It is about 8 miles and you’ll gain 4,800 feet of elevation. The final 1.5 miles of the route are considered Class 3, indicating that handholds and footholds on the rocks are needed to “scramble” at times, but never to the extent that the use of ropes and technical climbing gear are necessary – assuming the trail is dry and free of ice and snow. Under good conditions, usually early to mid-July, a relatively fit and adventurous party will be able to ascend without the company of a guide. However, early in the summer season the Keyhole route is considered a technical climb often requiring a rope for security and sometimes the use of an ice axe and crampons. Consider hiring a guide during this time. Even in good conditions some parties will do best and have a greater chance of reaching the summit with the assistance of a guide. Your guide will help pace you, offer hiking tips and techniques, and in general, gently “guide” you and your group to the top. KMAC guides are trained in interpretation and along the way to the top, they’ll share their knowledge of not only this historic mountain but RMNP as well.
The “One Day” Ascent – We’ll get an “alpine start” and begin hiking with a headlamp. After several hours we enter the historic Boulder Field region of the mountain, a huge flat basin surrounded by smaller peaks and snow fields. We’ll go through the “keyhole” and traverse around to the backside before entering the final “home stretch” to the top. After a much deserved lunch on the summit we’ll retrace our route taking in the views and basking in our accomplishment. Anyone who has ever climbed Longs Peak never forgets the experience. It’s the perfect adventure for individuals, small groups, and families.
The “Two Day” Ascent – We camp one night in the Boulder Field allowing for extra time on both days.
While we encourage as much advanced notice as possible, this and other climbs can often be booked the day before departure. The two day ascent requires us to make camping reservations before hand. The boulder field campsites fill up quickly. If you know your dates, give us as much advance notice as possible so we can secure your reservation.
For those seeking a more private ascent away from the standard routes, we will suggest the Keplinger Couloir route. This is the way that John Welsley Powell took in making the first known ascent of Longs Peak in 1868. The setting, camping and the route offers more solitude. A good choice for groups and those wanting more of a wilderness setting.