Rocky Mountain National Park is an alpinist’s dream. The high peaks here are the real deal, with many climbs exposed over 12,000 ft. up to 14,000 ft. Routes are nearly all trad on solid rock. Longs Peak’s famous Diamond Face is home 16 classic routes with hundreds of variations. The general rule here is you should be able to lead at least two grades higher than the given rating, be solid at multipitch routes and be efficient at setting up anchors and rappel stations. Weather is always a concern, with afternoon thunderstorms accounting for several deaths in a typical season.
What Makes It Great
Classic lines on classic mountains, with good alpine rock and well-documented routes. The beauty and ruggedness of the peaks rival the best in the world.
These are real alpine routes -- to climb here, you must be a tried and true mountaineer. However, if you are experienced and confident in your skills, RMNP is a dream. Many of the routes top off on majestic peaks with amazing views of the Colorado mountains. As with any mountaineering endeavor, endurance, toughness, attention to details and solid teamwork all contribute to success in the park. For those hoping to build their skills, there are several guides that will help you along the way.
Who is Going to Love It
Mountaineers who prefer a true alpine setting and trad climbers who are ready to put their skills to the test. While some of the climbs in the park require extensive planning and rigorous training, they are some of the very best routes Colorado has to offer.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Take US 36 north to Lyons. From Lyons, follow US Highway 36 to Estes Park. From Estes Park, take CO Highway 7 south to get to the Long's Peak trailhead or Wild Basin, or head directly into the park (US 36 and then left on the Bear Lake Rd.) to get to the Glacier Gorge area and the Bear Lake area.
Dogs are not allowed in the park except “on the pavement” and in vehicles.