Battle Mountain, Longs Peak Trailhead, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Battle Mountain - 9.8 miles

Longs Peak Trailhead

Knobby outcrops on the summit of Battle Mountain

Knobby outcrops on the summit of Battle Mountain

Round-Trip Length: 9.8 miles (distance will vary by route)
Start-End Elevation: 9,405' - 12,044' (12,098' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +2,639' net elevation gain (+2,925' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Moderate-Strenuous
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: Yes
Related Trails:

Battle Mountain - 9.8 Miles Round-Trip

Battle Mountain (12,044') is located 4.9 miles from Longs Peak Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. Battle Mountain is a nearly one-mile long ridge that extends NE from Granite Pass (12,098') and the shoulder of Mount Lady Washington (13,281').

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It's a familiar sight to anyone who's hiked Chasm Lake or Longs Peak, but often overlooked as a destination in itself. 

The summit-ridge separates the Alpine Brook and Boulder Brook drainages with exceptional views across the Longs massif, Continental Divide and Mummy Range.

Visitors have a good chance to see elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and ptarmigan across large tracts of open tundra.

The route shares the first 3.25 miles with Chasm Lake to the East Longs Peak Trail, which makes a counter-clockwise arc around the base of MLW to Granite Pass (12,098'), a small saddle between MLW and the Battle Mountain summit-ridge.

From here you can immediately gain the ridge and follow it to the highest point, or hike a short distance on the North Longs Peak Trail before veering off on a more direct line to the summit. No matter how you go you'll travel across delicate tundra. Stay on trails and walk on rocks as much as possible to minimize impact:

The trail climbs steadily from Longs Peak Ranger Station past connections for Estes Cone  (.5 miles) and Goblins Forest backcountry campsite (1.1 miles : 10,127’).

Alpine Brook is the only notable feature until crossing the top of a long cascade at treeline (1.85 miles : 10,615') where the forest quickly shrinks to bands of krummholz.

It clears treeline to the Battle Mountain Backcountry Campsite spur (2.45 miles : 10,956'), and up to the Chasm Lake - East Longs Peak Trail split (3.25 miles : 11,518').

The East Longs Peak Trail veers NW and moderates along the base of Mount Lady Washington to Granite Pass and the North Longs Peak Trail split (4.3 miles : 12,098’). 

Turn right on the N. Longs Peak Trail and drop along the north flank of Battle Mountain. On this brief descent you can identify the highest points on the ridge, and then split off on a direct and minimally-impactful route to the summit (4.9 miles : 12,044'). 

The exact summit can be hard to distinguish, as the ridge is nearly level with just a few prominent outcrops. The summit is .5 - .6 miles from Granite Pass depending on route, though views are terrific from just about any point.

Watch weather closely and allow extra time to descend off the ridge and reach treeline before storms develop.

Illustration of bighorn sheep

The Afield Rocky Mountain app gives on-the-trail information on plants, geology, turn-by-turn-directions, and more. Install it for your next hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N40 16.330 W105 33.409 — 0.0 miles : Longs Peak Trailhead
  • N40 16.495 W105 33.852 — .5 miles : Estes Cone Trail split
  • N40 16.385 W105 34.228 — 1.1 miles : Goblins Forest Backcountry Campsite spur
  • N40 16.489 W105 34.662 — 1.5 miles : Cross footbridge, resume steady climb
  • N40 16.390 W105 34.805 — 1.9 miles : Cross waterfall on bridge
  • N40 16.251 W105 35.056 — 2.45 miles : Battle Mtn Backcountry Campsite spur
  • N40 15.934 W105 35.561 — 3.25 miles : Chasm Lake - East Longs Peak Trail split
  • N40 16.113 W105 36.016 — 3.75 miles : Fast, moderate travel at the Base of MLW
  • N40 16.445 W105 36.325 — 4.3 miles : Granite Pass - North Longs Peak Trail split
  • N40 16.586 W105 36.339 — 4.5 miles : Off-trail route to summit
  • N40 16.587 W105 36.140 — 4.7 miles : Off-trail route to summit
  • N40 16.683 W105 35.928 — 4.9 miles : Battle Mountain summit (12,044')

Worth Noting

  • Tread carefully and delicately across the tundra. Stay on designated trails and walk on rocks whenever possible to minimize impact

Camping and Backpacking Information

Permits are required for all overnight stays. Fires are not permitted within Rocky Mountain National Park.

Camp safely away from dead trees, as close as possible to the silver metal arrowhead posted at each site. Red arrowheads on trees provide additional guidance to campsites from the main trail.

Rules and Regulations

  • A $20 Day Use Fee is required to enter Rocky Mountain National Park (or $30 for a 7 Day Pass).
  • Dogs are not permitted on hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Directions to Trailhead

Longs Peak Trailhead is located 10 miles south of Estes Park off of Highway 7, between Estes Park and Allenspark.

From Estes Park, travel 9.1 miles south on Highway 7 to the Longs Peak Trailhead turnoff on the west side of the road. Follow the road .9 miles to the ranger station and trailhead. Parking is very limited, and the lot fills up early on weekends. Additional roadside parking is available. Campground parking for non-registered users is prohibited.

Contact Information

Rocky Mountain National Park
Visitor Information:
970.586.1206

Backcountry Office:
970.586.1242

Campground Reservations:
800.365.2267

Emergency Dispatch:
970.586.1203

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.



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