Longs Peak, the crown jewel of Rocky Mountain National Park, is the northernmost fourteener in the Colorado Rockies and is the highest point in Boulder County. In spite of this mountain’s relative proximity to the Front Range, it also one of the harder fourteener climbs in Colorado.
Humans have been summiting this mountain for centuries: The first recorded climb was on August 23, 1868, though experts hypothesize that indigenous peoples also frequented the peak, dating back to before Christopher Columbus landed in the New World.
Longs Peak is featured on the Colorado state quarter. It also makes an appearance in two Jules Verne science fiction novels, From the Earth to the Moon, and Around the Moon.
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The 14,259-foot peak is named for Stephen Harriman Long, a prolific 19th century explorer and inventor credited with contributions to steam locomotive design.
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The hike is 16.8 miles round trip, and most hikers begin their ascent before sunrise to reach the summit before summer thunderstorms arrive. The most difficult portion of the hike starts at the Boulder Field, 6.4 miles into the hike. Hikers reach the famous “Keyhole” after a third of a mile hike into the boulder field.
If you’ve always wanted to attempt this fourteener but hesitated without a guide, here’s your chance to accomplish your goal and do some good in the process. This summer, Big City Mountaineers—a Golden-based nonprofit dedicated to providing undeserved youth with transformative outdoor experiences—is sending one of their Summit for Someone fundraising treks up the formative peak.
There are still spots available for volunteers to join the Big City Mountaineers Summit for Someone trek. The group will take on the historic Cables Route and all fundraising efforts will go toward helping youth in vulnerable communities discover the power of the outdoors.
Your climb will make an immediate impact – outfitting kids, ensuring well-trained mentors, and providing safe and inspirational expeditions for BCM youth. Your support will give kids the chance to climb mountains, paddle the Boundary Waters, see the Milky Way without the glare of city lights, and befriending a caring adult mentor. More importantly, your climb will make a long-term impact – giving kids in seven cities around the country the place and space they need to build self-confidence, self-efficacy, emotional intelligence, and resilience.
The Longs Peak ascent one of Big City Mountaineers’ Summit for Someone beginner climbs (others include Everest Base Camp, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Mount Whitney). The Big City Mountaineers Longs Peak Summit for Someone adventure will be guided by professional Colorado Mountain School guides at no additional charge. For more information about how your summer adventure can make an impact, visit bigcitymountaineers.org.
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