Long wavelength surface emitting lasers (LWSEL) have important applications in optical fiber communications due to their inherent single-longitudinal mode operation and the ease of coupling into fibers. The high packing density and wafer scale testing capability make them potential low cost sources for optical fiber systems. However, high Auger recombination rates inherent to long wavelength materials and technological problems in fabricating long wavelength DBR mirrors have slowed the development of LWSELs compared to that of (In)GaAs vertical cavity lasers. In this paper, we present results on two devices which have achieved the highest reported operation temperatures of LWSELs to date. In the first section we discuss an optically pumped InGaAsP laser utilizing a GaAs/AlAs mirror fused to the InGaAsP structure. These devices operate at temperatures as high as 144 degree(s)C. The fusing process, room temperature lasing characteristics, and high temperature operation are discussed. In the next section, we present results of an electrically contacted, two-dielectric mirror structure which operates at temperatures as high as 66 degree(s)C, the highest operation temperature of an electrically pumped laser to date. The room temperature and high temperature lasing characteristics are described, as are the effects of non-uniform injection in the active region. In the final section of the paper, we discuss design considerations for room temperature, CW operation.