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Visiting Longs Peak, Colo.

September 18, 2011

If you go

THE BEST WAY TO DENVER

From LAX, American, United, Frontier and Southwest offer nonstop service to Denver, and US Airways offers connecting service (change of plane). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $212.

From Denver International Airport, it's about a two-hour drive north to the trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. At the Longs Peak Ranger Station and Campground entrance, make a left and go one mile to the trailhead.

This extremely strenuous hike, 16 miles round trip, has an elevation gain of 5,000 feet. July and August are the peak hiking months. This hike can easily take 11 hours round trip, so those hoping to reach the summit in one day should start at 1 or 2 a.m. to avoid afternoon lightning. Dress in layers, and expect high winds. Every year, people die on Longs Peak, so don't be afraid to abandon mission if it begins to rain or snow or you feel uncomfortable. Live to try it again another day.

TO LEARN MORE

Rocky Mountain National Park, 1000 Highway 36, Estes Park, Colo.; (970) 586-1206, http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/longspeak.htm, http://www.rockymountainnationalpark.com

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