Longs Peak Weather Conditions and Forecast
Discover everything you need to know about the weather on Longs Peak before embarking on your next adventure. Longs Peak, standing tall at 14,259 feet, is one of Colorado’s most popular hiking destinations and offers a challenging yet rewarding experience for those who conquer its summit. However, the mountain’s weather can be unpredictable and may pose significant risks to climbers. Knowing what to expect will help you plan and prepare for a safe and enjoyable climb.
Longs Peak’s weather is characterized by rapidly changing conditions, with cold temperatures, high winds, and sudden storms all possible throughout the year. Summertime offers the most stable conditions, but afternoon thunderstorms are common, and lightning poses a serious threat. To minimize risks, it’s essential to start your hike early in the day and aim to descend below treeline before noon. In spring, fall, and winter, snow and ice on the trail can create hazardous conditions, making proper gear and mountaineering experience critical for a safe ascent. Always check the latest weather forecasts before setting out, and be prepared to adjust your plans as needed to ensure a successful climb.
Click here to see our full Rocky Mountain National Park Guide on weather conditions.
Longs Peak Weather Conditions and Forecast
The best source of weather information for Longs Peak is the National Weather Service. Scroll down to view their full page on Longs Peak, including the current conditions and a detailed forecast for the next five days. While there are other weather models available, in my experience, the National Weather Service model tends to be the most accurate.
Scroll down to read through the entire forecast for Longs Peak from the NWS.
Longs Peak Weather FAQs
The best time to climb Longs Peak is generally from mid-July to early September when the weather is more stable, and the snow has mostly melted. During this period, you have a better chance of avoiding snowstorms and ice on the Keyhole Route. However, always check the weather forecast before your trip and be prepared for sudden changes in conditions.
Spring and early summer (April-June) often bring unpredictable weather with the possibility of snowstorms and freezing temperatures. In summer (July-August), the weather is usually more stable, but afternoon thunderstorms are common. Fall (September-October) offers cooler temperatures and a chance for early snowstorms. Winter (November-March) is the most challenging season, with freezing temperatures, heavy snow, and high winds.
Weather conditions on Longs Peak can change rapidly, with clear skies turning into storms within a matter of hours. As you gain altitude, temperatures can drop, and winds can pick up. Always be prepared for sudden changes in weather and have a plan in case conditions deteriorate during your climb.
Check the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Park Service (NPS) websites for the latest weather forecast, including specific information on Longs Peak. You can also refer to other weather websites and apps that provide mountain-specific forecasts. Make sure to monitor the weather updates leading up to your climb and be prepared to adjust your plans if necessary.
Dress in layers to adapt to changing temperatures and conditions. Bring moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and waterproof, breathable outer layers. Wear sturdy, waterproof hiking boots with good traction. Bring extra clothing, such as gloves, hats, and socks, as well as essential gear like a map, compass, headlamp, and emergency shelter. Always carry enough food, water, and a first-aid kit.
Temperatures on Longs Peak can vary greatly depending on the season and altitude. In summer, daytime temperatures can reach 60°F (16°C) at lower elevations, while nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing. In winter, temperatures can drop well below 0°F (-18°C). Precipitation levels are highest in spring and early summer, with snowfall possible throughout the year.
Start your climb early in the morning to avoid afternoon thunderstorms. If you hear thunder or see lightning, descend immediately and seek shelter. Avoid exposed ridges, summits, and solitary trees. If you’re caught in a storm, squat down on your haunches, minimize contact with the ground, and wait for the storm to pass.
If you encounter bad weather during your climb, assess the situation and make a decision based on safety. If the weather is deteriorating, consider turning back or finding shelter until conditions improve. Always prioritize your safety over summiting the peak.
As you gain altitude, temperatures generally decrease, and winds become stronger. Atmospheric pressure decreases with elevation, which can lead to more extreme weather conditions. Be prepared for colder temperatures, stronger winds, and rapidly changing conditions as you ascend Longs Peak.
Longs Peak Weather Additional Resources
Looking for additional resources and information about the weather conditions on Longs Peak? Here are some more websites and articles to use for your research and preparations.