Drive up to the Longs Peak trailhead on Wednesday July 3. We will need to leave Albuquerque at 6:00 am to arrive at the trailhead around 2:00 pm. Backpack up to tree line and set up camp for the night. Hike the peak on July 4. Break camp and backpack to the trailhead on July 5. I will be driving to the Culebra Peak trailhead on July 5 and car camp for the night. The Culebra Peak hike will be on July 6. See the Culebra Peak posting for details.
Getting to the Trailhead (Suggested)
Take I25 North to the south side of Denver. Take exit 194 to Colorado 470 West. Take Colorado 470 West to I70 West. Follow I70 West to exit 244. Follow Colorado 119 North to Colorado 72 North. Follow Colorado 72 North to Colorado 7 West. Follow Colorado 7 West to the turn off for Longs Peak trailhead.
A pdf file from 14ers.com giving a complete blow by blow description of the hike can be found in the Files folder. It can be downloaded by hovering your mouse cursor over “More” on the Meetup page tool bar and selecting “Files”.
If weather conditions deteriorate, the trip may be canceled.
The weather forecast can be seen at the link below:
Weather forecast at trailhead
How to find us: Longs Peak Trailhead.
Drive Time to Trailhead: Approximately 8 hrs. from ABQ
Trip Rating: Strenuous
Trail Length: 7.0 miles one way, 14.0 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 5100 ft
Elevation Range: 9400 ft to 14255 ft
Please Note: Anyone attending our trips must have a signed Waiver & Release Form on file with us. This covers all trips and activities so you only have to sign it once. If you have not already signed this form, it can be downloaded from our "Pages" section and turned in to the organizer when you arrive for the trip.
If you RSVP “Yes” for this trip please plan on attending. Please read our "RSVP" Policy located in our "About" section.
Climbing Colorado 14ers does not require technical rock climbing skills if the appropriate routes to the summits are selected. The climbs do require very good physical fitness and several of the mountains require rock scrambling. Several climbs involve breath taking exposure requiring careful hand and foot placement to prevent life threatening falls. The 14er in this description is NOT known for dangerous exposures along the climb.
Weather changes on the mountains can happen during any season and can be rapid and extreme. Come prepared for all types of weather conditions: intense sun, heavy rain, high and low temperatures, wind, snow and ice. Bring gear for all these conditions.
- Sun: wide brimmed hat, sun screen, sun glasses
- Rain: waterproof outer layer of clothing
- Heat: thin layer of clothing, plenty of water
- Cold: an insulating layer of clothing, insulated head cover, gloves, face cover
- Wind: windproof outer layer of clothing which may be the same clothing for rain
- Snow and Ice: traction devices for your boots, trekking poles, same gear listed for sun and cold
- Other Gear: compass, map, headlamp, knife, fire starter, emergency shelter, whistle, signal mirror, first aid kit, portable water purification, insect repellent
Your first aid kit should include aspirin and ibuprofen for treating the symptoms of mild Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Symptoms include headache, fatigue, stomach illness, dizziness, and sleep disturbance. A recent study found that people who took four 600 milligram doses of ibuprofen over a 24 hour period in which they ascended to 12,570 feet above sea level were less likely to experience altitude sickness than people taking a placebo. There is some evidence that an 80 to 120 milligram dose twice a day, beginning five days before ascent and on summit day, of the herb Ginkgo Biloba may reduce the chances of experiencing AMS. Symptoms of dehydration can be confused with AMS, so drink plenty of water during the climb.
Even though the climb is only for the day, you should be prepared to stay out for a night should an unforeseeable situation arises.
A pdf file of my 14ers backpacking kit checklist can be found in the Files folder. It can be downloaded by hovering your mouse cursor over “More” on the Meetup page tool bar and selecting “Files”.
- If you are in mountains and climbing high, the primary way to ensure safety from lightning strikes is to get an early start. Thunderstorms are much more likely to develop during the afternoon, especially in mountainous areas. So if you’re planning a hike at higher elevations, try to be off of the trail before noon. Follow the summer-in-the-mountain rule: "Up high by noon, down low by two" to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms the generally occur between 2 and 6 P.M.
- Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from the thunderstorm. If you can see or hear it, you are close enough to be a target.
- If you're in the open or on a ridge, retreat to a sheltered area. Shallow caves or picnic shelters aren't good enough. Lightning can bounce around and strike you. Enter the forest, but do not choose the tallest tree in a stand of trees for shelter. Avoid isolated trees and water. Stay away from lakes, streams and marshy wet soil, as water is a good conductor of electricity.
- If you cannot find shelter, make yourself as small a target as possible. Crouch down with your heels together. If lightning hits the ground, it goes through the closest foot, up to your heel and then transfers to the other foot and goes back to the ground again. If you don't put your feet together, lightning could go through your heart and kill you. Put your hands over your ears to protect them from thunder. Do not lie down as doing so creates a larger target for lightning. Crouching on your pack does not lessen your chances of being struck.
- Do not place your campsite in an open field on the top of a hill or on a ridge top. Keep your site away from tall isolated trees or other tall objects. If you are in a forest, stay near a lower stand of trees. If you are camping in an open area, set up camp in a valley, ravine, or other low area. A tent offers NO protection from lighting.
- If you're in your tent, get out as the poles attract lightning.
- Toss away metal objects (backpacks, cameras and tripods, crampons, ice axe, trekking poles, tent poles, climbing gear).
- Hiking partners should stay at least 15 feet away from each other.
- Watch out for danger signs. If your hair begins to stand up on your head, arm, and the back of your neck; your skin tingles; you hear clicking sounds, a lightning strike may be about to happen. Run like hell or crouch down in the “lightning crouch” position.
- Lightning can strike before or after it has stopped raining.
- How far away was that lightning? Count in seconds, you know how, one thousand one, one thousand two, etc. Each five seconds is one mile.
- Danger from lightning may persist for more than 30 minutes after a storm has passed or after the last known lightning strike. This is often called "blue sky" lightning and is just as deadly.