Longs Peak eliminated as various bears proceed to finals of Colorado hiking tournament

It’s Rocky Mountain National Park against Jefferson County for the ultimate prize.

hiking bracket
(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Longs Peak is no more. Finitio. Donezo. Over. Eliminated.

The infamous 14er was defeated in the semi-finals of our Mile High Hiking Quest, presented by the Hike to End Hunger. The big boy cruised through the opening rounds, but Longs was firmly rejected by voters in the penultimate round.

It’s been a wild ride, starting with our super-helpful guide to 32 competitors in four categories. Now, it’s down to just two options, and they both involve the word “bear.”

Choose your favorite from the ballot below, and then keep scrolling for the results of the last round.

The Alpine Division:

Rocky Mountain Super Squad beats Longs Peak

I was kind of worried that Longs Peak would win the whole thing. It’s enormous, it’s scary, and people seemed to love that — but it was finally defeated by another Rocky Mountain National Park classic. The “super squad” loop of alpine lakes — Bear, Nymph, Dream, Emerald, Haiyaha — flowed into the finals with an impressive victory. The best thing about the lake loop is that it’s highly customizable. You can catch the shuttle and simply stroll around Bear Lake, or you could go for the full multi-mile loop.

Final score:

  • RMNP Alpine Lake Super Squad: 88.2%
  • Longs Peak via Keyhole: 11.8%

The Foothills Division:

Bear Creek Trail at Lair O’ The Bear beats Royal Arch

Would you rather a.) walk up a hill to a weird rock formation or b.) chill near a creek in the woods? Well, Colorado, you chose the latter. The relaxing Bear Creek hike in Jefferson County narrowly beat out Boulder’s iconic Royal Arch Trail. It’s described by one expert source as “the best family hike near Denver” — a quick 1.6-mile jaunt with plenty of shade and water.

Final score:

  • Bear Creek Trail at Lair O’ The Bear: 51.4%
  • Royal Arch Trail: 48.6%

For more information about the hikes, refer to our original guide.