The Longs Peak header

Longs Peak is the crown jewel and highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Its official USGS elevation was 14,255 ft. when I climbed it in 1979, but newer survey equipment and methods have since pegged it at 14,259 ft.

Longs has been “my” mountain since I was a child. When the rest of the world and everything in it seem to be going to hell, Longs stood implacably above it all. Offering at once permanence and change, beauty and danger, sunshine and storm, it has always been there for me and most certainly will remain long, long after I’m gone.


If this particular view of the blocky Longs summit looks vaguely familiar, perhaps it’s because it inspired the design of the Colorado quarter. This is the sheer glacier-hewn side of Longs, the side that plunges sharply into Glacier Gorge. The spectacular jagged ridge to the right of the flat summit is known as the Keyboard of the Winds.

Possibly the most interesting thing about this view of Longs is that you can reach this vantage point by car via Trail Ridge Road.

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