The Longs Peak Trailhead is the primary means for accessing Longs Peak, and is the trailhead for the popular East Longs Peak Trail. This area is located on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Unlike other access points in RMNP, no entrance fees are required to access this area.
The trailhead also features a ranger station (with an emergency phone) and a small campground. Camping is first-come, first-served, limited to 3 consecutive days, and is tents only.
Winter Access: The road to the trailhead and the parking area is plowed in the winter, but is a low priority for plow drivers. On that note, I've never had a problem accessing the trailhead in the winter.
Driving DirectionsFrom Estes Park (intersection of Hwy 34 and Hwy 36):
Take US Hwy 36 east from the intersection of Hwy 34/Hwy 36 (near the McDonald's) for approx 0.4 miles, to the intersection of CO Hwy 7. Take CO Hwy 7 right (south) and proceed south for approx 8.9 miles to the entrance to the Longs Peak Ranger Station and Campground. There is a sign here, and it's a hard right turn after a sweeping left. Turn right and proceed another mile to the trailhead. The campground is on the right and the ranger station and trailhead is on the left.
From Boulder (Canyon and Broadway):
Take Canyon Blvd (Hwy 119) east to US Hwy 36 (28th St). Turn left (north) and proceed out of town on Hwy 36. After approximately 15 miles, you'll near Lyons and come to the intersection of US Hwy 36 and CO Hwy 66. Take a left and continue west on Hwy 36 into Lyons. Total distance from Canyon/28th in Boulder to downtown Lyons is approx 16.3 miles. From downtown Lyons, take CO Hwy 7 west up South Saint Vrain Canyon. At approx 14 miles you'll pass CO Hwy 72 (Peak to Peak Hwy), at approx 18.75 miles you'll pass Allenspark, and at approx 20.5 miles you'll pass the Wild Basin Entrance. Continue on Hwy 7 for a total of approx 24.3 miles from Lyons to the Longs Peak Ranger Station and Campground entrance. There is a sign here, and it's a left turn right before a sweeping right. Turn left and proceed another mile to the trailhead. The campground is on the right and the ranger station and trailhead is on the left.
Please note: You must have a valid backcountry permit for overnight parking. This lot fills very early on summer weekends. You may wind up parking 1/2 mile or more down the road. Observe all no parking signs.
Rocky Mountain National Park:
Rocky Mountain National Park
Overview Road Map
The trailhead features the following amenities:
- Paved Parking
- Restrooms (pit toilets in winter, flush toilets in summer)
- Water (seasonal) - Restroom sinks and a spigot just up the trail near the register
- Ranger Station - lots of informative information, worth a visit
- Emergency Telephone
The closest pay phone I've run across is in Estes Park, north on Hwy 7. There may be a closer one at some of the resorts, possibly south on Hwy 7. If you know of a closer one, let me know and I'll include the info.