|Elevation||14,259 ft (4346 m) |
|Prominence||2940 ft (896 m)|
|Isolation||43.6 mi (70.2 km)|
|Native name||Neníisótoyóú’u (Arapaho)|
|Location|| High point of|
Rocky Mountain National Park and Boulder County, Colorado, U.S.
|Parent range|| Front Range, Highest summit |
of the Twin Peaks Massif
|Topo map|| USGS 7.5' topographic map |
Longs Peak, Colorado
|First ascent||1868 by John Wesley Powell and party|
|Easiest route||Keyhole (scramble) Class 3+|
Longs Peak (Arapaho: Neníisótoyóú’u) is a high and prominent mountain in the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,259-foot (4346 m) fourteener is located in the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness, 9.6 miles (15.5 km) southwest by south (bearing 209°) of the Town of Estes Park, Colorado, United States. Longs Peak is the northernmost fourteener in the Rocky Mountains and the highest point in Boulder County and Rocky Mountain National Park. The mountain was named in honor of explorer Stephen Harriman Long and is featured on the Colorado state quarter.
Longs Peak can be prominently seen from Longmont, Colorado, as well as from most of the northern Front Range Urban Corridor. It is one of the most prominent mountains in Colorado, rising 9,000 feet (2,700 m) above the western edge of the Great Plains.
The peak is named for Major Stephen Harriman Long,who is said to have been the first to spot the Front Range on June 30, 1820, during an expedition on behalf of the U.S. government.
Together with nearby Mount Meeker, with an elevation of 13,911 feet, the two mountains are sometimes referred to as the Twin Peaks (not to be confused with a nearby lower mountain called Twin Sisters).
As the only fourteener in Rocky Mountain National Park, the peak has long been of interest to climbers. The easiest route is not "technical" during the summer season. It was probably first used by pre-Columbian indigenous people collecting eagle feathers.
The first recorded ascent was on August 23, 1868 by the surveying party of John Wesley Powell via the south side.Addie Alexander was the first woman to summit Longs Peak in 1871. The East Face of the mountain is 1,675 feet steep and is surmounted by a 1,000 feet steep sheer cliff known as "The Diamond" (so-named because of its shape, approximately that of a cut diamond seen from the side and inverted). Another famous profile belongs to Longs Peak: to the southeast of the summit is a series of rises which, when viewed from the northeast, resembles a beaver. Lumena Wortman Buhl was the first woman to summit the east face of the mountain.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Blaurock)
In 1954 the first proposal made to the National Park Service to climb The Diamond was met with an official closure, a stance not changed until 1960. The Diamond was first ascended by Dave Rearick and Bob Kamps that year, by a route that would come to be known simply as D1. This route would later be listed in Allen Steck and Steve Roper's influential book Fifty Classic Climbs of North America .The easiest route on the face is the Casual Route (5.10a), first climbed in 1977. It has since become the most popular route up the wall.
Clark's Arrow (4th-class) is a climb to the summit of Longs named after John Michael Clark, who was a park ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park in the 1950s.The oldest person to summit Longs Peak was Rev. William "Col. Billy" Butler, who climbed it on September 2, 1926, his 85th birthday. In 1932, Clerin "Zumie" Zumwalt summited Longs Peak 53 times.
The record number of ascents to the summit of Longs Peak is 428, by Jim Detterline. Jim was a rescue Ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park. On October 23, 2016, he died in an accident while solo climbing. Jim rescued over 1,000 people in the mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park and he received the U.S. Interior Department's Valor Award. He also, earned the title,"Mr. Longs Peak". http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web16f/newswire-detterline-obit
On June 6, 2016, a group of US Special Forces were rescued after members of the team suffered from altitude sickness.
Longs Peak has one remaining glacier named Mills Glacier. The glacier is located around 12,800 feet (3,900 m)at the base of the Eastern Face, just above Chasm Lake. A permanent snowfield, called The Dove, is located north of Longs Peak. Longs Peak is one of fewer than 50 mountains in Colorado that have a glacier.
Trails that ascend Longs Peak include the East Longs Peak Trail, the Longs Peak Trail, the Keyhole Route, Clark's Arrow and the Shelf Trail. Only some technical climbing is required to reach the summit of Longs Peak during the summer season, which typically runs from mid July through early September. Outside of this window the popular "Keyhole" route is still open; however, its rating is upgraded to all "technical" as treacherous ice formation and snow fall necessitates the use of specialized climbing equipment including, at a minimum, crampons and an ice axe. It is one of the most difficult Class 3 fourteener scrambles in Colorado. km) each way, with a total elevation gain of 4,875 feet. Most hikers begin before dawn in order to reach the summit and return below the tree line before frequent afternoon thunderstorms bring a risk of lightning strikes. The most difficult portion of the hike begins at the Boulder Field, 6.4 miles (10 km) into the hike. After scrambling over the boulders, hikers reach the Keyhole at 6.7 miles (10.5 km).The hike from the trailhead to the summit is 8.4 miles (13.5
The following quarter of a mile involves a scramble along narrow ledges, many of which may have nearly sheer cliffs of 1,000 feet (305 m) or more just off the edge. The next portion of the hike includes climbing over 600 vertical feet (183 m) up the Trough before reaching the most exposed section of the hike, the Narrows. Just beyond the Narrows, the Notch signifies the beginning of the Homestretch, a steep climb to the football field-sized, flat summit. It is possible to camp out overnight in the Boulder Field (permit required) which makes for a less arduous two-day hike, although this is fairly exposed to the elements. Fifty-eight people have died climbing or hiking Longs Peak. According to the National Park Service, two people, on average, die every year attempting to climb the mountain. Less experienced mountaineers are encouraged to use a guide for this summit to mitigate risk and increase the probability of a summit.
For hikers who do not wish to climb to the summit, there are less-involved hikes on the peak as well. Peacock Pool and Chasm Lake are popular hiking destinations and follow well-maintained trails. It is also rewarding to hike just to the Boulder Field, the Keyhole, or the seldom-visited Chasm View—the ridge between Mount Lady Washington and the east face of Longs Peak. Camping is available at the Boulder Field and also on the lower portions of the mountain, such as Goblin's Forest next to the stream at the bottom. Technical climbers, with the correct permit, are allowed to use sites at the base of the East Face and at Chasm View. It is also possible to camp to the south of the mountain at Sand Beach Lake.
In addition to the standard "Keyhole" route, there are more serious and more technical climbs on Longs Peak. Climbers should seek qualified instruction; deaths on Longs Peak are an annual occurrence. Some of the more common routes are, in approximate order of popularity,
Longs Peak is described in Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon" as the location of a 16 feet (192-inch) reflecting telescope called "the Telescope of the Rocky Mountains", built for the purpose of tracking the Columbiad projectile on her flight to the Moon.
Scrambling is "a walk up steep terrain involving the use of one's hands". It is an ambiguous term that lies somewhere between hiking, hillwalking, and easy mountaineering and rock climbing. Sure-footedness and a head for heights are essential. Canyoning, Gill and stream scrambling are other types of scrambling. Gill scrambling in the UK is a type of scrambling where the base rule "is to take the hardest route and the one closest to the water, straying from the streambed only when the direct way is impassable".
Rocky Mountain National Park is an American national park located approximately 76 mi (122 km) northwest of Denver International Airport in north-central Colorado, within the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The park is situated between the towns of Estes Park to the east and Grand Lake to the west. The eastern and western slopes of the Continental Divide run directly through the center of the park with the headwaters of the Colorado River located in the park's northwestern region. The main features of the park include mountains, alpine lakes and a wide variety of wildlife within various climates and environments, from wooded forests to mountain tundra.
Mount Forbes is the seventh tallest mountain in the Canadian Rockies and the tallest within the boundaries of Banff National Park. It is located in southwestern Alberta, 18 km (11 mi) southwest of the Saskatchewan River Crossing in Banff. The mountain was named by James Hector in 1859 after Edward Forbes, Hector's natural history professor at the University of Edinburgh during the mid-19th century.
Mount Elbert is the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains, the highest point in the U.S. state of Colorado, and the second-highest summit in the contiguous United States. The ultra-prominent 14,440-foot (4401.2 m) fourteener is the highest peak in the Sawatch Range, as well as the highest point in the entire Mississippi River drainage basin. Mount Elbert is located in San Isabel National Forest, 12.1 miles (19.4 km) southwest of the City of Leadville in Lake County, Colorado.
Torreys Peak is a mountain in the Front Range region of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. It is one of 53 fourteeners in Colorado. Its nearest major city is Denver. Torreys Peak is located along the Continental Divide, as well as the division between Clear Creek County and Summit County.
Mount of the Holy Cross is a high and prominent mountain summit in the northern Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,011-foot (4270.5 m) fourteener is located in the Holy Cross Wilderness of White River National Forest, 6.6 miles (10.7 km) west-southwest of the Town of Red Cliff in Eagle County, Colorado, United States. The summit of Mount of the Holy Cross is the highest point in Eagle County and the northern Sawatch Range.
Capitol Peak is a high and prominent mountain summit in the Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. It is the 52nd highest mountain in North America. The 14,137-foot (4,309 m) fourteener is located in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness of White River National Forest, 8.7 miles (14.0 km) east by south of the community of Redstone in Pitkin County, Colorado, United States.
Mount Wilson is the highest summit of the San Miguel Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The prominent 14,252-foot (4,344 m) fourteener is located in the Lizard Head Wilderness of San Juan National Forest, 10.6 miles (17.1 km) north by east of the Town of Rico in Dolores County, Colorado, United States. Mount Wilson should not to be confused with the lower Wilson Peak nearby.
Little Bear Peak is a high mountain summit in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,043-foot (4,280 m) fourteener is located on the Sierra Blanca Massif, 8.8 miles (14.2 km) north by east of the Town of Blanca, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide separating Rio Grande National Forest and Alamosa County from the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant and Costilla County. Little Bear lies 0.96 miles (1.54 km) southwest of Blanca Peak, the ultra prominent fourteener that is the highest point of the massif.
Pigeon Peak, elevation 13,978 ft (4,260 m), is a summit in the Needle Mountains, a subrange of the San Juan Mountains in the southwestern part of the US State of Colorado. It rises dramatically on the east side of the Animas River, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of the fourteener Mount Eolus. It is located in the Weminuche Wilderness, part of the San Juan National Forest.
The Indian Peaks Wilderness is a wilderness area in north central Colorado managed jointly by the United States Forest Service and the National Park Service within the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and small parts of the southern section of Rocky Mountain National Park. It borders the James Peak Wilderness to the south, and straddles the Continental Divide. The area receives high visitation due to its proximity to the Denver metropolitan area.
Mount Meeker is a high mountain summit of the Twin Peaks Massif in the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,916-foot (4,242 m) thirteener is located in the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness, 4.8 miles (7.7 km) west by north of the community of Allenspark in Boulder County, Colorado, United States.
James Peak is a high mountain summit in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,300-foot (4,054 m) thirteener is located on the Continental Divide in the James Peak Wilderness of Arapaho National Forest and Roosevelt National Forest, 5.2 miles (8.4 km) east-southeast of the Town of Winter Park, Colorado, United States. The summit is the tripoint of Clear Creek, Gilpin, and Grand counties. The peak is the highest point in Gilpin County and the James Peak Wilderness.
The Colorado Mountain Club (CMC), formed in 1912, is a nonprofit, 501 (c)(3) outdoor education organization based in Golden, Colorado that gathers and disseminates information regarding Colorado's mountains in the areas of art, science, literature and recreation. The club advocates for the preservation of the alpine regions, and was instrumental in the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park. The CMC has its own press with over 30 published titles, and has continuously published Trail & Timberline magazine since 1918.
Hallett Peak is a mountain summit in the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,720-foot (3,877 m) peak is located in the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness, 10.1 miles (16.2 km) southwest by west of the Town of Estes Park, Colorado, United States, on the Continental Divide between Grand and Larimer counties.
Pikes Peak is the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, in North America. The ultra-prominent 14,115-foot (4,302.31 m) fourteener is located in Pike National Forest, 12 miles (19 km) west of downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado. The mountain is named in honor of American explorer Zebulon Pike. The summit is higher than any point in the United States east of its longitude.
Mount Alice is a high mountain summit in the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,315-foot (4,058 m) thirteener is located in the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness, 12.0 miles (19.3 km) southwest by south of the Town of Estes Park, Colorado, United States, immediately east of the Continental Divide between Boulder and Grand counties. Just who the namesake Alice was is unclear, but according to one source she was likely a "woman of ill repute".
Carl Blaurock was an American mountaineer. He pioneered many climbing routes throughout Colorado and Mount Blaurock is named after him. Blaurock and climbing partner Bill Ervin were the first to climb all of the 14,000-foot peaks in the state of Colorado, doing so by 1923.
Bierstadt Lake is located in Larimer County, Colorado and within the Rocky Mountain National Park. Near McHenrys Peak and Longs Peak, there are "spectacular views" of the Continental Divide at the lake. The Bierstadt Lake Trailhead is located about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) from the turn-off at U.S. Route 36 into the Rocky Mountain National Park. During the summer, shuttle buses provide transportation to the trailhead.
Elkanah J. Lamb was born in Indiana and moved westward through Iowa to Kansas and Nebraska during his early adulthood. He became a minister of the Church of the United Brethren and traveled through the Kansas and Nebraska frontier to preach to people in their homes or school houses. Lamb spent a year in Colorado as a missionary. During that time, he visited Estes Park and climbed Longs Peak. Lamb's slide on Longs Peak is named for his treacherous descent in 1871.
For generations, Longs Peak played a part in the seasonal migrations, hunting practices, and cosmology of Ute and Arapaho Indians. The Arapaho called Longs Peak and Mount Meeker the “Two Guides,” or nesótaieux, because of their physical prominence and role as landmarks for the entire region.