The Keyhole via Longs Peak Trail

9 reviews #51 hike out of 213 in
12.9 mi
Distance
6 hrs 8 min
Time
terrain
4,459 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

This is a moderate out and back trail to Longs Peak via The Keyhole in Rocky Mountain National Park.

This trail goes by Goblins Forest, Battle Mountain Group Site, Granite Pass, and Boulderfield. Camping is allowed at these locations but check sites for availability.

The hike is very mellow up to the Boulderfield at which point the trail becomes less clear as you begin the final sections to the peak. After the Boulderfield there is a short scramble up to the Keyhole which puts you into the Ledges. Pay attention to the bullseye marking the route from here to the peak. The ledges lead you to the Trough which has a great deal of loose rock, a climbing helmet is a good idea, which can get kicked free and fall. Should this happen call out "ROCK" for those below you. The trough ends with a small that puts you on the Narrows. This section is wider than pictures indicate but has a decent amount of exposure so mind your feet and head (overhanging rock) along the route. The last section is the Homestretch which is a class 3 scramble on fairly solid rock and puts you right on the summit.

Getting Started

Trailhead parking lot is shared by hikers, climbers, and backpackers which leads to the parking lot filling very quickly even during the week. Plan to park along the road if arriving after 4 am and be mindful of no parking signs as it is very common to see ticketed cars along this road.

There are numerous restrooms, ranger station, and maps at this trailhead as well as plenty of signs indicating where the trail begins. That trail is very well marked and groomed all the way up to the Boulderfield.

Taking Children

Some caution if bringing children. Some of the ledges are high at the Keyhole and Trough and more difficult for younger children.



    Rate this Hike

    user_profile stars
    3 months, 1 week ago
    Arrived on Friday morning at 3 am and the lot was already full. Parked just outside of the lot along the road. Worth noting that this area is extremely popular for casual hikers, climbers, and backpacking so the area gets busy. Mellow and very easy hike to start with a headlamp as the trail is incredibly well marked and groomed all the way up to the Boulder Field. Beyond that it's relatively well marked with spray painted bullseye along the route. After the keyhole you move along the Ledges, then the Trough, then the Narrow, and then the Homestretch. Each of these are somewhat different areas which keeps things interesting. Worth noting the pictures and videos almost always make these named sections look much scarier and more difficult than they are. That said, do not take this hike lightly. It is long, physically demanding, and you spend a great deal of time above tree line without shade. Bring: * ~3 liters of water per person * Plenty of snacks for a ~10 hour hike * Extra layers as the temp/wind changes dramatically * Gloves for scrambling and the cold wind
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 3 months ago
    TUES 8/20/19> Starting hiking at 2:15am. about 20 cars there. First 6 miles is a nice hike (about 3000ft gain). Then the fun begins at the Boulderfield! It is real climbing from there. Slow and steady. Watch each foot placement and hand hold. Take your time and enjoy the rest of the way up!
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile stars
    1 year, 3 months ago
    Everything up until the keyhole is very easy but takes a while. Save as much energy as possible because the real climb starts after the keyhole
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 4 months ago
    Summited Longs Peak via the Keyhole route on July 20, 2019. Route was in great shape, the trough was snowy in the middle, but easy enough to scramble around to the left side going up. The homestretch was totally clear, except for a few, easy to avoid wet patches. Started hiking at 215AM and got back to the car at 1245 PM!
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 1 month ago
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    user_profile
    1 year, 3 months ago
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    1 year, 3 months ago
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    1 year, 3 months ago
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    1 year, 3 months ago
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Chuck Harmston 50 years, 11 months ago
Long's Peak - Keyhole Route/ Longs Peak - Keyhole Route
Generated from track Longs Peak - Keyhole Route
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