Even while hiking at a decent pace, Longs Peak typically takes about 10 hours to complete. Also, the clouds quickly swamped in the peak and by the time we left Chasm Lake the view from the top would have been nothing more than a thick cloud. Longs Peak - Boulderfield Winter Camping & Keyhole route Longs Peak via the Keyhole Route and a night spent at the Boulder Field Climbing Long's Peak was something I wanted to do for a while, but the fact that it gets so crowded during the post-melt season and is so dangerous during the winter prevented me from crossing it off my list early on. The East Longs Peak Trail does have a ranger station with a small campground of 26 sites. NPS. Look carefully to see the climbers along the yellow dotted line. Boulder Field is a high alpine backcountry site on Longs Peak, and is a popular camp for backpackers attempting to summit Longs Peak via the Keyhole route. Camp Patiya Camp Patiya is a 30-acre camping and day use facility owned by the Longs Peak Council of the Boy Scouts of America. the Longs Peak Boulder Fieldat 12,760 feet elevation in mid-afternoon. While the warm, dry weather has melted and dried most southern aspects, late September is effectively winter at 14,000’. Her partner left her sheltered in several huge boulders and went down for help. The rain, snow, and storms never manifested, but the entire day was plagued with extreme wind and the night was no different. It took us both a half liter of water to recover. In 1925, Agnes Vaille, a famous climber, attempted the first winter ascent of the East Face of Long’s Peak. Super views of the East Face and the Keyhole, 500 ft above. We had amazing views of the gorgeous bouldery terrain and Longs Peak above lit up by the first light of the day. We’ve been getting electrical storms as part of the summer monsoons in Colorado and an electrical storm at that elevation with no protection 1000’ above tree line would be “exciting” as one report read. None returned from the summit before we set off down the mountain the way we had come. Post navigation. As long as the good Lord allows. It is six miles up the trail, so it’s only another 1.5 miles to the summit of Longs Peak. Bochen Chen 5 - You’ll have over 5 miles of hiking before beginning the climb. Roundtrip: 18 miles Pools of which can be found and filtered for drinking water. Route: East Longs Peak Trail past Chasm Junction and Granite Pass to the Boulder Field. Your email address will not be published. With weather threatening we didn’t want to have to take any time route finding. From the Longs Peak campground a good path climbs up through the forest to awesome viewpoints of the Peak and the sheer Diamond. However 2.8 miles south of the Longs Peak turnoff on highway 7 is Meeker Park Lodge which has public showers for $3. Weather would again be a risk during the climb – turning “grippy” steep rock faces into a sliding pond. I was up before dawn, awakened by the first intrepid travelers climbing Longs Peak for the day. So we arrived at the Ranger Station and set out backpacking to the boulder field at 11:45am. Camping is available at the Boulder Field and also on the lower portions of the mountain, such … Thankfully there is a creek running underneath the rocks of the Boulder Field. Information can be found here. Climbers: Rick Crandall, Rick Peckham August 22, 2012. Permits to camp can be very hard to come by, but can be found here. Turns out what I needed most on this climb, in addition to a great companion, was his strong arm once or twice. Still, when the morning came and we got the early morning light, all the wind and cold was worth camping in the Boulder Field. 55 people have died while attempting to climb Longs Peak. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! If you missed a part of the journey up Longs Peak click the links below to get caught up before reading about camping in the Boulder Field: The weather report for the two primary days we were on the Longs Peak trail was bad. We both woke up extremely thirsty and fatigued. No reservations are taken. Since 1970, an average of one person has been killed on Longs per year, which are pretty good odds, really unless you are the one! There are a few designated campsites in the Boulder Field area (5.5 miles up … As can be seen below, it looks exactly as the name suggests. If you’ve never done a 14er before, we highly suggest you start with something a bit less demanding. As the name implies, it’s in the middle of a boulder field at 12,760 feet. Download and print the Longs Peak Campground map (pdf) provided by the Park. When he returned with a rescue party several hours later she was dead. There are a few designated campsites in the Boulder Field area (5.5 miles up the trail closer to … We made it through … Camp Patiya is only about seven miles west of Boulder, Colorado. Our tent is a three-season tent but I don’t think that camping in the Boulder Field above tree line counts as one of those three seasons. Camp Patiya is only about seven miles west of Boulder, Colorado. Around 11:00 PM the wind finally subsided, but then the cold set in. Fitting that in an already crammed backpack was a hassle. There are only nine sites and you can only book by snail mail well in advance – so it’s a real shot in the dark with the weather. Hi! The camp is in a beautiful mountain forest at 7400 ft elevation. From this site to the boulderfield campsite is about a 3 hour hike. I did this climb with Rick Peckham, a friend from Alaska who is a fit hiker/climber, ex-military search and rescue and a trained paramedic. The hike down, with full backpacks, was 2 ¼ hours, 3300’ and 7 miles, with the rain threatening all the way, but nothing major until … at 6:15pm as we approached the car at trailhead, the heavens opened … and the rain continued all the way back as far as Vail! It is tent camping only, with toilet facilities, benches, and fire pits. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Camping fee $26/site/night. Starting at an elevation of roughly 9405 feet, hikers will be following the East Longs Peak Trail for the entire route on this hike. We camped in the Boulder Field and started climbing toward the summit. Pro Tips Turn right toward Longs Peak Campground (marked by a big brown national park sign). The lack of overnight campers didn’t stunt the long line of hikers streaming towards the peak. There is also a popular drive-up tent campground at the Longs Peak trailhead for first-come, first-serve tent campers. Longs Peak – the only fourteener in Rocky Mountain National Park was named after Stephen Long, an explorer in the area in the 1820’s. Prices vary based on the distance we are guiding. 9:50 am, 3 ½ hours from camp at the boulder field. The total vertical of 5100’ is a bigger bite than I can chew in one day, so we chose to reserve a campsite at what’s called the boulder field, which is a … Open all year. I guess a lot of others heeded the warnings and stayed at home as we only shared the Boulder Field with the marmots and the pikas until about 8:00 PM when another hiker stumbled in and set up camp. By the end of the night, Jennifer and I were wearing every piece of clothing we had brought and were wrapped up tight inside each of our mummy bags. Boulder Field is the most frequently used base camp for a Longs Peak climb. The camp is in a beautiful mountain forest at 7400 ft elevation. San Luis Peak – via Creede and the South Ridge, Blanca Peak – Sacred Mountain of the Navajo. So she got a memorial. Rick P. noticed my infatuation with the bulls-eyes, and made a Happy Face on one of them! Trailhead: Longs Peak at 9,400’, Climbers: Rick Crandall, Rick Peckham                  August 22, 2012. Nearing trailhead, Rick P. still looking somewhat chipper …  Rick C.: not so much. That stone hut is 10’ high. The game plan was to backpack up 7 miles and 3300’ from trailhead to the boulder field, set camp and go for the summit early the next morning. https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/wilderness-camping.htm Camping is first-come, first-served and tents only and costs $26/night. A big gamble was the weather. It is dubbed one of the most difficult Class 3 fourteeners in Colorado. In the early part of the day I had wished I had waited to summit this morning, but with the stream of people, I would have been worried about them kicking debris down on us. The whole route as tracked by Spot satellite service. However we did have the weather on our side and the night was clear. Here in the middle of nowhere was a Las Vegas style gambling town, complete with huge video screens, lights, casinos and even a 33 story hotel! The 14,259-foot peak is named after Major Stephen H. Long, who led an expedition across the Great Plains and along the base of the Rockies in 1820. From Estes Park, take CO 7 south for 10 miles. the Longs Peak Boulder Fieldat 12,760 feet elevation in mid-afternoon. Camp Patiya. The campsite has nine sites in rock rings, with a bathroom and water to filter from Boulder Brook. Super views of the East Face and the Keyhole, 500 ft above. The report had almost scared us away from the backpacking adventure and camping in the Boulder Field, but we decided to push on. Longs Peak is the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park. when water is turned off.) But for the backway to Longs Peak Trailhead (which takes you to Chasm and Longs Peak), we charge $50 per group. Longs Peak – the only fourteener in Rocky Mountain National Park was named after Stephen Long, an explorer in the area in the 1820’s. This was a super-fun climb, lots of interesting challenges, lots of beauty and definitely some new experiences. It is six miles up the trail, so it’s only another 1.5 miles to the summit of Longs Peak. The early morning light illuminates the massive rocky mountain that is Longs Peak. It is dubbed one of the most difficult Class 3 fourteeners in Colorado. Longs Peak is a seasonal, tents-only campground with 26 sites located nine miles south of Estes Park on Route 7 at 9,500 ft elevation. I became very enamored with them. This is incredibly high particularly for sleeping. Where is the Longs Peak trailhead? The 118 is made up of 85% white and less than 1% Native American. As we unpack and setup camp, it becomes quite obvious Pro Tips It is six miles up the trail, so it’s only another 1.5 miles to the summit of Longs Peak. Other reasons include exposure (8), heart attacks (6), lightning (2), suicide (2), lost (1) and falling rock (1). Many people will take 12-15 hours on the mountain. I'm Laura. I was born to roam. Wow this has always been on my bucket list, will have to prepare to do it next year! 1.2 miles into the hike lies the Goblins Forest Backcountry Campground, which contains 6 tent sites. If it was just rain, we would get a bit wet, but if it turned electrical – not good. Camping Near Longs Peak. - Henry Miller. What follows is a serious climb, not just a mountain hike – many Class 3 pitches that are steep, at times loose and at times on polished rock which only gets worse with wet weather. Exposure: Significant Camping fee $26/site/night. Turn right toward Longs Peak Campground (marked by a big brown national park sign). Our tent was taking a beating while camping in the Boulder Field. It then switchbacks north up to the "boulder field", then makes for the distinctive Keyhole formation , a huge overhanging rock projection on the peak's north ridge. From this site to the boulderfield campsite is about a 3 hour hike. From Estes Park, take CO 7 south for 10 miles. Click Here to Continue the Journey Up Longs Peak. All the way back, the red and yellow bulls-eyes marked the way. Continue along the switchbacks up to the North Boulder Field. The Longs Peak trailhead and campground are about 11 miles south of Estes Park on Colorado highway 7. As in, you don’t want to be starting the Keyhole area of the hike anytime after … You don’t want to be up there without a commitment of a site, there’s nowhere else to set a tent! It has a population of 118, the least populous town in Colorado! Cost is $20/night and there are around 25 sites. I'm in my early thirties, living in … As you can see, there is zero protection if a storm hits – and nowhere to go for miles. Street Address The address for the camp is 7022 Flagstaff Road, Boulder, Colorado 80302 Lat / Lon Looking for something more specific? Laying in the tent it was hard to sleep contemplating whether or not the thin nylon would hold up under the unrelenting wind. Getting on the trail at 2 - 3 AM is considered a "best practice" (though if you can score a camping spot in the boulder field, you can obviously push that start time back). I have no idea how it got financed, but it’s huge. when water is turned off.) Longs via the Keyhole Route - Boulder Field Camping ; Day One Unable to hike Grays/Torreys via the Kelso ridge after getting rained out on Monday, I set my sights on Longs, which would now be my first fourteener attempt. As the name implies, it’s in the middle of a boulder field at 12,760 feet. The campsite has nine sites in rock rings, with a bathroom and water to filter from Boulder Brook. It really is nice breaking up the trip this way - feels good to take the packs off and kick back for a bit. There is also a popular drive-up tent campground at the Longs Peak trailhead for first-come, first-serve tent campers. Cancel reply. Right next to the Longs Peak trailhead and Ranger Station is Longs Peak Campground. Boulder Field Campground, Longs Peak, CO. Laura En Route September 26, 2017 September 26, 2017. Total trip … Of those 55 fatalities, 35 were from falls. This would allow us to start the next day with the famed “keyhole” gateway to the more difficult stuff. While out on the plains, in the distant view, the expedition could see the highest mountain in the northern range. 8 sites, reservation only, 5.9 miles from the Longs Peak Ranger Station and about 2 miles from the summit. How long? ben recently posted…The Best Stand Up Paddle Board for Kids. Sleeping at altitude isn’t easy to recover from either. Boulder Field is the most frequently used base camp for a Longs Peak climb. As of 2009, camping at Longs Peak CG is $20 per night when the water is turned on (~Late May through ~mid-September) and $14 per night otherwise (i.e. Camping is first-come, first-served and tents only and costs $26/night. They had forecasted rain, thunderstorms, and snow (in late July). As the name implies, it’s in the middle of a boulder field at 12,760 feet. Conditions have improved significantly since last week's winter storm up high, and this past weekend was very busy on Longs. Camping Near Longs Peak The East Longs Peak Trail does have a ranger station with a small campground of 26 sites. If you are looking for a two-day hike, you can camp in the Boulder Fields. She reached the summit, but on the way down, in a blizzard, she fell and was unable to continue. Even fit hikers should give themselves 12 hours round trip. For the first few hours, we witnessed a lot of people attempting the feat while we had breakfast and packed up our site. The boulder field is the beginning of the technical approach. On the way, we came around a curve and were confronted with the town of Black Hawk – which felt like an amazing drop into the twilight zone. There was very little smoke remaining in the area. Hiked back out to the trailhead the following morning. It was favored by the state for gambling, but has outlawed bicycling in a twisted sense of priorities. This park receives visitors throughout the year, and some may choose to attempt the Longs Peak trailhead and turn around at Longs Peak Boulder Field during certain conditions. Late evening scramble to a viewpoint of Chasm Lake and the East Face of Longs Peak, followed by an overnight camp at the Boulder Field. Our second day on Longs Peak on August 8, 2014. 39.9670134,-105.3379797 Camp Map Camp Patiya Map Directions 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. As of 2009, camping at Longs Peak CG is $20 per night when the water is turned on (~Late May through ~mid-September) and $14 per night otherwise (i.e. Luckily the rock walls surrounding each of the camping spots do knock down the wind somewhat. Download and print the Longs Peak Campground map (pdf) provided by … Camp Patiya offers campsites, picnic areas, sheltered cooking sites, two cabins for sleeping indoors, training and meeting areas with both indoor … We’d heard how steep it is immediately on the other side and we didn’t want to do that in the dark. Longs Peak will now be in your scope as you ascend the mountain. Longs Peak - Boulderfield Winter Camping & Keyhole route. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/the-keyhole-and-longs-peak-trail "One's destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things." On Tuesday, July 8th, I left Georgetown and made the two hour drive to Rocky Mountain National Park's Longs trailhead. While many trails and roads throughout the park are open to hikers all year, the best time to climb Longs Peak is typically when weather conditions limit risk. Climbing Long's Peak was something I wanted to do for a while, but the fact that it gets so crowded during the post-melt season and is so dangerous during the winter prevented me from crossing it off my list early on. The next morning, we started an hour later than we’d planned in hopes that it would be daylight at the keyhole. There are 26 camping pads at the trailhead- right next to the ranger station. Difficulty: Class 3 The wind was blowing like crazy. This was a different campsite than anything I’d experienced – boulders pushed away to make a circle – and the challenge of falling asleep at 12,700’. As can be seen below, it looks exactly as the name suggests. If you don't want us to guide you the whole way, we can also take you the backway to the Longs Peak Trailhead and you can hike from there. Now, my wife and I travel as a way of life. The 14,259-foot peak is named after Major Stephen H. Long who led an expedition across the Great Plains and along the base of the Rockies in 1820. We arrived at the boulder field at about 4:20 pm (a 4 ½ hour backpack) and found our reserved campsite. Longs Peak is the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was routine for the phone to ring at odd hours in the Smythe household, and off he would go on a mission, whether rescuing a fallen climber from the Flatirons or Longs Peak or assisting in helicopter evacuations during a blizzard. By the time we got back to the campsite, the rain had started (mercifully not while we were down-climbing) and we had to make a decision – take cover in the tents or pack up in the rain and make a run for it – well more like a several hour hike, over half of which would be above tree line exposed. Many choose to stay at Longs Peak Campground to get started early in the morning. I added to our rock wall to help close in the area as the “doorway” was allowing too much wind to pass through. 8 sites, reservation only, 5.9 miles from the Longs Peak Ranger Station and about 2 miles from the summit. Longs Peak via the Keyhole Route and a night spent at the Boulder Field. A designated outhouse is a prominent landmark at the beginning of the boulder field and a good stopping point. Where is the Longs Peak trailhead? No reservations are taken. Camping/Lodging: Clear Lake State Park Campground (800-444-7275) is between Kelseyville and Soda Bay about four miles northwest of The Black Forest. Still, when the morning came and we got the early morning light, all the wind and cold was worth camping in the Boulder Field. After a challenging night of camping in the Boulder Field, we were greeted with a much nicer day. Amazingly within ten minutes we actually saw some clearing coming from the south (over the keyhole) and so we packed up and went for it. Access from Boulder or Denver is via highway 119 and 72 which intersects with highway 7. Camp Patiya is a 30-acre camping and day use facility owned by the Longs Peak Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Longs Peak is a seasonal, tents-only campground with 26 sites located nine miles south of Estes Park on Route 7 at 9,500 ft elevation. Boulder Field Campground, Longs Peak, CO. Leave a comment! Restrooms but no showers. I have worked hard to live a life of travel in the fleeting moments between work. Most summers included a family vacation, generally a road trip and frequently involving camping. They are available first come first serve - no reservations are accepted. As we unpack and setup camp, it becomes quite obvious Information can be found here. I had to research it – and I learned that Black Hawk is a Home Rule Municipality just like Aspen. Windom Peak – 4 Tries and a Fantastic Summit! I can only agree with Enos Mills, a naturalist, climber and father of Rocky Mountain National Park who climbed Longs Peak 297 times in his life, who wrote: “Climbing a high peak occasionally will not only postpone death but will give continuous intensity to the joy of living.”, See Hiking and Climbing Equipment Checklist HERE, This site is a collection of articles on subjects that may be of interest to, All Rights Reserved (c) 2015 - 2020 Rick Crandall, This was a warning at tree line (11,700’). Humboldt Peak – West Ridge – Sighting the Eclipse from a 14er! Summit: 14,255 feet The total vertical of 5100’ is a bigger bite than I can chew in one day, so we chose to reserve a campsite at what’s called the boulder field, which is a rocky field located at 12,700’. We traveled from Aspen towards the Longs Peak trailhead about 30 miles from Golden along a state road. Elevation Gain: 5,100 feet The campsite has nine sites in rock rings, with a bathroom and water to filter from Boulder Brook. Starting early is essential. One of the requirements of the Park is to purchase a “bear-proof” food container (for $65), not so much to protect from bears at that elevation, but from marmots, who are talented thieves. Mount of the Holy Cross – A Colorado Iconic Mountain – North Ridge, Pikes Peak – Summiting My 58th and Final 14er. It really is nice breaking up the trip this way - feels good to take the packs off and kick back for a bit. Longs Peak Conditions Report 9/23/2020. Longs Peak from the Boulderfield, 9/19/2020 . 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