By Robert Earle Howells

Climb Longs Peak

When to Go: July to September

Round-Trip: 16 Miles

Level: Challenging Peak Ascent

At 14,259 feet, Longs Peak is the crown of Rocky Mountain National Park and a coveted trophy for mountaineers who take on its hugely exposed big-wall ramparts. The rest of us can hike up, which means tackling an eight-mile approach called the Keyhole Route that gains 4,850 feet. It requires stamina, boulder scrambling, and route finding. Stay on target and you’ll come out on top of the world.

Insider Tip: Set your alarm. You need to set out by 3 a.m. to get off the summit by 10 a.m., before the frequent afternoon thunderstorms.

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