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Longs Peak Valley Loop

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 4.6 (12) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A large loop through the Longs Peak valley, featuring rugged landscapes and high altitude trails.


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Map Key

23.2

Miles

37.3

KM

Loop

12,060' 3,676 m

High

8,551' 2,606 m

Low

5,129' 1,563 m

Up

5,150' 1,570 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

71%

Max Grade (36°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

A really nice longer loop through Rocky Mountain National Park passing through multiple zones and terrain. If you plan to do this in a single day, start early and be prepared for unexpected weather at high altitude. This could also be done as a multi-day backpacking trip as there are many campsites along the way.

You'll leave from the Longs Peak ranger station, climb up the Longs Peak trailhead and past Chasm Lake for 5.9 miles up to the Keyhole boulder field then drop into Glacier Gorge on North Longs Peak Trail, winding over to the Storm Pass Trail. There are opportunities for some variation, including adding in an ascent of Longs Peak - Keyhole Route for the very motivated.

Need to Know

High altitude hiking through a variety of changing mountain terrain. Summer months are recommended. No dogs in RMNP. There is no fee at the Longs Peak ranger station, but the parking fills up very early. You can find water for filtering. Be prepared for a long day in the mountains. The trailheads around Glacier Gorge are very popular tourist areas. There are portions popular with horse riders.

Description

Start from the Longs Peak ranger station at 9,400 ft and head up the Long's Peak Trail (Longs Peak - Keyhole Route). Most of the altitude is gained here. You'll head past the Chasm Lake Trail (stop for some great photos of the Diamond on Long's Peak) and continue to Granite pass, reaching the max altitude of a little over 12,000 ft. From there, look for the North Longs Peak Trail turn off and head down North Longs Peak Trail all the way into Glacier Gorge. This trail can be a bit more washed out and can be wet. This drops through the valley and has really nice views of the Glacier Knobs valley.

Continue on to the Glacier Creek Trail. This area has wider trails that are more heavily used by day-hikers. Expect some crowds here as you pass waterfalls and viewing areas along the way down to the Glacier Basin Trails.

In this area some options exist, I used the Glacier Creek Trail, passing Sprague lake and over to the Wind River Trail connector to join the Wild River Trail to add a short loop around and back to Storm Pass. The trails here passes campgrounds and equestrian areas, expect horses and a fair amount of wear on the trails from them - this area is lower altitude pine forests. From Storm Pass, head down, passing the Estes Cone Trail (you can add in a short side trail to summit the cone) onto the Eugenia Mine Trail to the turn off for the Longs Peak Ranger station and your car.

Flora & Fauna

Views of Longs Peak from the Chasm Lake Trail, wildflowers, high alpine tundra, and a high potential for some alpine wildlife. The terrain and plant life changes as you cross through various altitude zones.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jeff Williams

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 12 votes

#677

Overall
  4.6 from 12 votes
5 Star
58%
4 Star
42%
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Recommended Route Rankings

#134

in Colorado

#677

Overall
364 Views Last Month
9,794 Since Nov 6, 2015
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Photos

Mt. Meeker at Dawn, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado with permission from Richard Ryer
Jan 15, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
Alberta Falls
May 2, 2018 near Estes Park, CO
Chasm Lake Trail- view of Long's Peak in the distance at sunrise, just above tree line
Aug 27, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
Sunrise on Keyhole Route.
Jul 18, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
The view of the gorge will knock you off your feet
Nov 28, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
Chasm Lake Trail- view of Long's Peak Diamond
Aug 27, 2016 near Estes Park, CO

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Check-Ins

Jun 6, 2020
Mike Minson
Light rain kept the heat down and amplified the spring smells! Really beautiful loop with a lot of great singletrack. 23.2mi — 5h 53m
Jul 5, 2019
Gabryele Marques
Jun 8, 2019
Aaron Fromer
Sep 8, 2018
Kannan Puthuval
Did this as an overnighter 23.2mi
Aug 19, 2018
Bilal Tawil
19mi
Sep 26, 2016
Raymond Dong
Mar 31, 2015
Ben Ryals
12h 00m