• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness, Rock Climbing

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    9.25 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    4500 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

La Plata Peak is the 5th highest peak in Colorado sitting at 14,336'. This class 2 climb, easy enough for most active people and offers 360 degree views of beautifully massive mountains.- 9.25 miles RT - 4,500 ft elevation gain

The Northwest Ridge is the most easily accessible and popular route, and for good reasons. The trailhead is on the side of Hwy 82, otherwise known as Independence Pass, about 14.5 miles from the Hwy 24 junction, or about 10 miles from Twin Lakes to the east. The trailhead is hard to miss, and you can park right there at the parking area on the side of the highway. Do not drive further down the trailhead road, because it is private property.

Once you strap on your boots, head down this private road, passing over a bridge right away that will give you your best clear view of La Plata and it's neighboring peaks. After the bridge, walk 0.4 miles down the private road until you find the forest trail on your left. Continue straight on this path and you'll come across a small walking bridge about 200 yards later. Continue to follow the path and you'll come across a small creek crossing via logs in 0.4 miles. The trail is pretty well defined after this and it will take you through the woods to a meadow, which is when your will start your steep ascent on the left (east) side.

Once you've reached the ridge at 12,750 ft, you will still have 1.25 miles of hiking to the peak. Some of it will be a defined trail, while most of it will be rock scrambling so save some energy to hike safely.

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Extra Water
  • Food
  • Raincoat
  • Sunscreen
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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This is one of my favorite Colorado 14ers! A fun hike up with gorgeous views.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Mike Fennell Explorer

Professional Travel and Nature Photographer

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