A rewarding out-and-back hike just a short drive from the park gates, providing beautiful views of Longs Peak and the town of Estes Park.
This hike starts with a mile or so of moderate switchbacks (with plenty of places to stop and enjoy the view) that get your heart pounding nicely! The trail then mellows out as you walk along the side of the mountain, ending with a short, steep push to the top! From the peak, there is a beautiful overlook to stop for a snack and enjoy views of Longs Peak, Moraine Park valley, and the town of Estes Park. After enjoying the view, you head back down the way you came!
This hike is quite popular, and has limited parking! Start nice and early; this hike will only take a few hours, so you can explore the park on your own in the afternoon.
We recommend wearing hiking boots that are well broken-in, plus a rain jacket and waterproof trousers in wet weather, as well as taking sun cream and a hat on nicer days.
In your information pack, you’ll find a detailed list of all the required hiking gear, including some good hiking boots, appropriate clothing, a rain jacket and a backpack.
Points of interest
The only 14,000ft mountain (or "14er", to use the local lingo) in Rocky Mountain National Park, Longs Peak is a Colorado Classic. It's one of the more difficult 14ers to summit in the Front Range region, and has several route optoins in varying difficulty. One of the more difficult is "The Diamond", the sheer and prominent east face of Longs Peak, visible from the summit of Deer Mountain.
Food & drink
Stock up on food and water before you start the hike! Carry at least 2 liters of water per person, along with snacks and a packed lunch. Estes Park is the only place to stock up before you start the hike, so make sure to stop by a market or grocery store before leaving town.