If you are undertaking the challenging and rewarding trek up Longs Peak, the lone 14er in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park, an early start is essential. Afternoon thunderstorms mean it is important to have the summit behind you early in the day, which also means that pre-dawn departures on the 15-mile round-trip excursion are critical. Fortunately, Longs Peak Campground is just a short walk away from the trailhead. There is no more convenient overnight for this trailhead, so if tent camping is your modus operandi, look no further. Of course, there are plenty of great hikes that leave from the same trailhead, such as the hike to Chasm Lake or Peacock Pool below Longs Peak or an exploration of the Estes Cone Trail. However you're planning it, this is a great place to camp as you motivate for full days of Rocky Mountain exploration.
Longs Peak Campground consists of 26 tent-only sites, and all are first-come, first-served. Sites have picnic tables, fire rings, and generally enjoy plenty of space and shelter. Most of the sites are large enough to accommodate more than one tent; also, a cluster of sites near the campground host may be a good option for larger groups that want to stay together. The campground has vault toilets and a firewood station located near the entrance of the loop, potable water stations that are located at either end of the loop, and four bear boxes for secure food storage if vehicle storage isn't an option for you. Visitors should be aware that water may not be turned on during some seasons; be sure to call before you go to verify, or bring your own.
Note: Longs Peak Campground is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend (watch out for sources stating this campground is open year round; it isn't). Because this campground is located at 9,500 feet, seasonal dates may fluctuate with weather. Contact the National Park Service or call at 970.586.1206 for seasonal date specifics.