Longs Peak Loop
- Climb Colorado's most famous peak!
- Breathtaking mountain scenery
- 2 days of acclimatization
- Waterfalls, glaciers & alpine lakes
- Beautiful campsites
- Opportunities to see wildlife
With its summit topping out at an elevation of 14,259 feet, Long's Peak is among the tallest peaks in the Rocky Mountains and is the single tallest peak in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park. You can easily see it for miles in every direction towering above the rest of the Park! This trip acclimatized for 2 days, attempts an ascent of the peak from a high camp (above treeline), and then loops back to our starting point for a 5-day adventure!
We designed the Longs Peak Loop to allow for acclimatization during the first couple days of the hike, increasing the odds of a successful summit bid. The trip takes us through a series of camps, drawing us closer to striking distance of Longs Peak. On day 3, permitting good weather, we'll go for the summit. This trip is not for the faint of heart! The summit bid involves steep, exposed scrambling and hiking across boulder fields, possible snow banks, and steep slopes. Such challenging factors make summiting Longs Peak a proud accomplishment. The final day takes us out of the alpine and into the Glacier Gorge area to complete a fantastic point to point hike.
Trip Dates & Booking
You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.
We may be able to add new trip dates.
- Shuttle to trailhead: 20 minutes
- Hiking Mileage: 7 miles
- Elevation Gain: 2700 feet
- Elevation Loss: 1700 feet
This classic Rocky Mountain National Park backpacking trip begins with pick up at your hotel in Estes Park and a short shuttle to our trailhead. Today’s hike is short and sweet, with only 1.5 miles hiking with backpacks until reaching our camp at the edge of a meadow. After setting up camp, we will acclimatize by day hiking to a stunning alpine lake, near 12,000 feet, that offers breathtaking views of Longs Peak above us. We will finish the day with a delicious, first backcountry meal at camp.
- Hiking Mileage: 4.5 miles
- Elevation Gain: 2,580 feet
- Optional Day Hike: 2 miles, +/- 600 feet
After an energizing breakfast, we will break camp and head into the alpine for the next two days! A moderately steep trail leads us above the tree line to our camp at the Boulder Field. This is likely one of the most unique campsites in all of Rocky Mountain National Park. The area is void of plant life, surrounded by mountains, and filled with jagged boulders. The landscape has a rugged beauty unlike any other place you have likely seen. From here you will have the option of resting at camp, or taking part in day hike to the nearby summit of Storm Peak at 13,326 feet. Either way, we will head to bed early for a good night’s rest.
- Hiking Mileage: 7 miles
- Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet
- Elevation Loss: 4,500 feet
Today is our much anticipated summit bid. We will take advantage of an alpine start to beat the afternoon thunderstorms. Our route takes us through the Keyhole, where we will see astonishing views of the Continental Divide. Making our way along the narrow edges until we eventually ascend the trough, the most physically challenging section. We then face the final homestretch until we reach the summit at 14,259 feet. Here we are rewarded with breathtaking 100 mile views of Rocky Mountain and the Front Range. After celebration and photos we will head back the way we ascended. Once at our packs we will break for lunch before hiking 4.5 miles downhill to our next camp below tree line. Please note: this ascent of Long's Peak is all above an elevation of 13,000 feet and requires hand-and-feet scrambling on steep - and at times exposed - rock slopes. There are inherent objective hazards such as altitude illness, rock fall, items or rocks dropped by other hikers, thunderstorms, heavy winds...etc. There's also no guarantee of reaching the summit - if your guide feels the conditions are creating an unacceptable level of risk he or she will turn the group around.
- Hiking Mileage: 4 miles
- Elevation Loss: 1,400 feet
- Shuttle to Estes Park: 20 minutes
After all we have accomplished, todays hike will be a breeze. Dawning our packs one last time, we will head towards the Glacier Gorge area. Prior to reaching the trailhead, we will stop at the magnificent Alberta Falls for our last break. At the exit trailhead, we will reminisce our trip over lunch before heading into town to conclude the tour.
Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.
- Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
- Use of trekking poles
- All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
- A professional, knowledgeable, certified Rocky Mountain hiking guide
- Entrance fees and national park permits
- Transportation for the duration of the trip beginning and ending in Estes Park, CO
- Bear cannisters for food storage
- Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
- You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!
- Clothes, raingear and footwear
- Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
- Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
- Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.
For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.
We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.
We provide all group gear which includes the following:
- Deuter or Osprey backpacks
- Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
- Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
- Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
- Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
- Cooking stoves and cookware
- Bear cannisters
- Company-issued first-aid kit
- Emergency communication device(s)
We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.
Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.
NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.
Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).
Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!
You will meet your guide and group in Estes Park, Colorado at the Estes Park Mountain Shop (2050 Big Thompson Ave) at 5:00 PM the evening before your trip begins for an orientation meeting. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip to answer any questions you have, provide you with more details about your exact trip, and coordinate the rendezvous.
Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.
Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).
Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.
Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.
Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.
The standard group size on Rocky Mountain National Park backpacking trips is 4 guests and 1 guide, with a private tour maximum of 4 guests and 1 guide. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.
Age restrictions are as follows:
- 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
- 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
- specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis
Being a high mountain environment, the Rocky Mountains are prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in Colorado's high country. On trips in June, snow is a slight possibility, and the rest of the summer rain is always a possibility on your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures:
|Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)|
High / Low
Camping on Backpacking Trips
Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.
Fresh & Delicious
Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.
In the Action
Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.