Long's Peak is the tallest mountain within the boundaries of the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. It is the fifteenth tallest in the state. The summit sits 14,255 feet above sea level. In the summer, the summit can be reached without technical equipment, but in the fall, winter, and spring it cannot be climbed without crampons and similar tools. Whenever one climbs it, it is strongly recommended that one starts very early in the morning (3 or 4 a.m.) to reach the top before the semi-regular afternoon thunderstorms.
The trail starts at the Long's Peak trail head, 7 miles south of Estes Park. It ascends for about 3 miles through coniferous forests full of Ponderosa pines, Douglas firs, and lodgepole pines before emerging from the tree line. After another mile hike one reaches Granite Pass, and from there one climbs the aptly named Boulder Field, the site of the highest toilet in the national park. Beyond the Boulder Field one passes through the Keyhole, and from there one climbs through the dangerous Narrows before finally reaching the Home Stretch and the peak of Long's.
For the more experienced climber, there are literally hundreds of other, more technical routes to reach the top of Long's that have been developed by enterprising outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen.