Get the classic sunrise shot on Longs Peak. A fantastic (relatively) short hike with sublime views. 9 mile roundtrip hike with 2500' elevation gain. Option to summit Longs Peak (14255') if you've got the energy.

The 4.5 mile trail climbs around 2500ft from the Longs Peak trailhead, and starts by winding through dense forest. In the morning darkness, trudging through thick trees isn’t the most exciting, but when you finally climb out above treeline, the massive profile of Longs and the slowly growing light on the horizon is a welcome sight.

Make sure you know your hiking speed and leave early enough to arrive at the lake for the classic 'Sunrise hitting Longs Peak' shot! If you've got energy to spare after taking in the sunrise, backtrack a little back to East Longs Peak Trail and head up to the peak through the Keyhole route. This will tack on another 5.5 miles and add an additional 2500' in elevation, so make sure you're ready!

Pack List

Depending on season:
  • Camera
  • Gloves
  • Fleece + down jacket
  • Beanie
  • Water
  • Microspikes/snowshoes
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RT Distance 9 Miles
Elevation Gain 2500 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Chasm lake

Hiked this on 9/30/17. We started on the trail around 8am and made it to the lake around 10:30am or so. The hike itself is gorgeous with lots of viewpoints. The last bit of the hike takes you through a path of shale... the path is good, however there is definitely ice/ light snow over parts of it. The view at the lake is gorgeous and definitely worth it. Bring layers b/c there is little protection from wind if you go on a breezy day (which we did). Enjoy the hike, it's amazing :)

Great Day Hike

One of the best day hikes near Boulder area. The Chasm meadow leading up to the lake is absolutely wonderful. It is really awesome to hike in the winter too when the lake is frozen over.

Still Worth It

After hearing about how amazing this hike was, I decided to see for my own eyes the wonderful view. Unfortunately, me and the weather weren't on the same page on the way there. I couldn't see anything more than a couple feet in front of me because of the fog, and it even started to rain during the third mile (luckily I brought a poncho)! However as I stopped to turn back on the last mile (there was an icy patch that wasn't safe to cross), the fog cleared up and I had the most incredible view from the mountain side. So, to anyone who is worried about the weather, just keep going and I promise it will be worth it!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Camp at Boulder Field in Rocky Mountain National Park

Boulder Field is a high alpine backcountry site on Longs Peak, and is a popular camp for backpackers attempting to summit Longs Peak via the Keyhole route.

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Sunrise Hike to the Peacock Pool

The peacock pool is a cool little tarn below the outlet to Chasm Lake. Please note that this adventure is best done in the winter/spring when snow is present to prevent erosion in the sensitive area.

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Summit Longs Peak

For the most part, this hike is very straightforward, so I'll essentially skip over the first 5.

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