From the Longs Peak Trailhead, follow a wide path that climbs steadily through ponderosa pine toward Chasm Lake and the summit of Longs. This trailhead is more remote than others in the national park, but as the gateway to the park's only fourteener, it can be a veritable highway of hikers in July and August.
Switchbacks occasionally edging mountain streams eventually reach treeline just past mile two. From here, the trail heads across a wide, rocky basin toward Longs Peak, which is now in view. Crest a small ridge at mile 3.2 —this is a great place to drop your pack for a quick snack, photo op, and use the privy, if necessary. (Why not? It has no roof and a great view of Longs' 1,000-foot Diamond Face.)
From here, edge left down into the valley that leads up to the Diamond. In early to mid summer, cross a patch of snow on the descent to columbine-lined stream crossings in front of the patrol cabin that sits at the base of the class-II scramble. Chasm Lake is still out of view.
South of the cabin, scout out cairns on the rock above. Although other routes through the short cliff-bands are doable, the cairns mark the easiest route, and it's a good practice to stay on the designated trail.
In five or ten minutes, summit your scramble to impressive views of the Diamond and icy Chasm Lake at its base. Shoo away aggressive marmots and chipmunks as you search for climbers on the Diamond and Ship's Prow, to the left.
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