Keyhole Route, Longs Peak–RMNP

Location Colorado

Season Year-round

Difficulty Intermediate to Difficlut

Duration 1-3 Days

Overview

Serving as the Crown Jewel  of RMNP, and the Northern most 14er in Colorado, Longs Peak provides the opportunity to see the Rocky Mountains from one of the most coveted summits in the West. At 14,259 feet above sea level and over 7 miles from the trailhead, this summit will make you earn your views. While sometimes attempted in 1 day, Longs is commonly climbed over 2-3 days. This peak requires careful planning and preparation, made much easier with help from Jackson Hole Mountain Guides. While there are many routes to the summit, the most popular is The Keyhole Route, a passage that spirals around the mountain, tackling infamous features like The Ledges, The Trough, the Narrows and The Homestretch.

Season Year-round

Miles 15

Elevation Gain 5,000

Minimum Age 12

Trip Planner

Itinerary

If attempting this mountain in a day, you should plan on leaving the Trailhead between 2-3am. This timing usually allows you to gain the summit and descend from the upper mountain before any weather develops. At 15 miles and 5,000ft gain/loss The Keyhole Route is mostly trail hiking, capped by 1.5 miles of attention-grabbing terrain. It’s 5.5 miles to The Boulderfield and a view of the summit, where your balance will be tested as you approach the Keyhole.  The real challenges of this adventure show up after moving through The Keyhole itself, a memorable passage to the West side of the mountain. Once on the upper portion of the route, views to the North and West will remind you of why you got up so early. Your day is only half way over at the summit and a long hike out awaits, so your guide will propose the best descent route after enjoying the summit for a short time.

If attempting this mountain in 2 days, departure from the trailhead could be as late as 10am. With 3,000 feet of gain over 5.5 miles to camp at 12,500′ you should bring only what you need and come well rested, fed and hydrated. This hike will commonly take people 5-7 hours with overnight packs and needs to be paced effectively so as not to jeopardize your summit day. Camping with the summit in view, at 12,500′ in The Boulderfield is guaranteed to be a memorable night. Getting to sleep as early as possible sets you up for being somewhere amazing at sunrise. In the morning of day 2, all you’ll need to do is get some food a hit the trail, leaving camp set up and going for the summit with a small, lightweight pack.

2 – Day Longs Peak Climb Via Keyhole ” Private 1:1 $1100/ 2:1 $700 per person / group 3:1 $600 per person

Price includes breakfasts and dinners (i.e., evening meal) while in the backcountry, technical climbing gear, tent and group cooking gear.

Note that a gear check will occur the day prior to the departure date of the trip

Private trips cannot be booked directly online based on scheduling, please click here to inquire about specific dates for a private trip. Please read through our policies by visiting this page.

Boulder is located 25 miles northwest of Denver, and about 43 miles from Denver International Airport. Meeting locations vary depending on the time of year and the class/trip, your guide will provide you with this information. There are plenty of accommodations and amenities located in Boulder, however camping is not readily available. If you have any additional questions your Colorado climbing adventure, please contact our call (303) 532-5184.

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Conditions can be favorable for climbing at nearly any point during the year, but for most objectives, better climbing conditions occur in spring, summer, and autumn. Spring has a higher likelihood of precipitation. Summer afternoon temperatures can climb into the 90’s and isolated afternoon thunderstorms are common. In the autumn, climbers tend to find the most reliable conditions. Winter has many spells of great climbing weather, but it is difficult to plan in advance, as the Front Range can also receive full Rocky Mountain snowstorms and cold fronts. Because cliffs are dramatically affected by sun and wind exposure (or lack thereof), please refer to your JHMG guide for route or area recommendations. Suggestions are to provide our guests with the most enjoyable experience.

During summer months, even if the day dawns clear, all climbers should pack a rain jacket for the occasional surprise afternoon thundershower. Synthetic clothing is strongly advised at many times of the year, and is almost always preferable to  cotton. Comfort levels can vary quite a bit depending on where you are climbing within a given climbing area, so please ask us for our clothing recommendations based on your planned climb/class and if you are unfamiliar with the area. It is common for us to suggest an early start to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.

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Here you’ll find online tools and information about joining us for a trip of a lifetime! To sign up for a trip, or if you have any questions, please call us. Listed on the left side of these pages are links that you may find useful, including printable forms and policies concerning a trip with JHMG. We encourage ALL prospective climbers to read our Preparation advice. Our office can help place you with others who are looking to climb.

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