Rocky Mountain National Park Feature
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Longs Peak: The Northernmost Fourteener
At 14,255 feet above sea level, Longs Peak has long fascinated explorers to the region. Isabella L. Bird wrote of it, "It is one of the noblest of mountains, but in one's imagination it grows to be much more than a mountain. It becomes invested with a personality."
It was named after Major Stephen H. Long, who led an expedition in 1820 up the Platte River to the base of the Rockies. Long never ascended the mountain—in fact, he didn't even get within 40 mi of it—but a few decades later, in 1868, the one-armed Civil War veteran John Wesley Powell climbed to its summit.
In the park's southeast quadrant, Longs Peak is northernmost of the 54 mountains in Colorado that reach above the 14,000-foot mark, and one of more than 114 named mountains in the park higher than 10,000 feet. You can see its distinctive flat-top, rectangular summit from many spots on the park's east side and Trail Ridge Road.
If you want to make the ambitious climb to Longs summit—it's only recommended for those who are strong climbers and well acclimated to the altitude—begin by 3 am so you're down from the summit when the typical afternoon thunderstorm hits.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's