La Plata Peak
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La Plata Peak - Sawatch Range

Long distance route photo - LaPlata Peak

From Highway 82, route only approximate

Another long distance route photo - LaPlata Peak

Another photo from near the trailhead off Highway 82, route only approximate

Steep up to the ridge but a good trail - LaPlata Peak

Up the steep switchbacks on the open slopes of La Plata to gain the ridge

We're way up on the ridge - LaPlata Peak

A look higher on the ridge on our way down

The upper ridge - LaPlata Peak

A view of the upper ridge, trail is faint in some places

Summit photo, no wind, nice - LaPlata Peak

Another summit photo inside a ping pong ball but very enjoyable nonetheless, I think I am starting to look thinner

La Plata Peak - Sawatch Range

Scramble: Class 2 – Steep Hiking

Altitude: 14,336 ft

Elevation Gain: 4,300 ft approx, La Plata Trailhead 10,000 ft, 9.0 miles approx return

Start Time: 5am to 8am to be on your way down by noon and avoid potential lightning storms

Ascent Time: 3 ½ – 4 Hours

Highlights

La Plata Peak is a rugged looking peak which makes it interesting in and of itself. It was a cloudy day but I was happy just to make the summit. The other climbers that day were a cheery lot in spite of the weather and we all enjoyed the summit time. One humorous fellow described our summit photos as "taking pictures inside a ping pong ball". While we were on the summit another fellow made it up carrying this humongous tripod. That provoked a few smiles as to his optimism on the weather forecast. Victoria and I enjoyed hiking with Stuart (Missouri) and Hattie (New Mexico).

Getting There

Highway 82 Trailhead – 10,000 ft – No restrooms

From U.S. 24 south of Leadville, take Colorado 82 west towards Twin Lakes. Drive over 13.5 miles on Colorado 82 until you see the small parking area on the left of the highway. There is a La Plata Trailhead sign here.

Camping

It’s a paved road all the way to the La Plata trailhead so no need to navigate a rough dirt road the night before as with most other 14ers. We camped at Sugar Loafin’ RV Campground near Leadville the night before. Really nice shaded tent sites, showers and laundry ($26). There is also camping along highway 82 near Twin Lakes.

Route Description

Head down the dirt road for ¼ mile and locate the trailhead sign on your left. From here the trail heads east into the woods soon crossing South Fork Lake Creek on a solid metal wood bridge. Another 1/3 of a mile and you cross La Plata Gulch on a small log bridge. Turn right and head south up La Plata Gulch for over a mile to access the open slopes up to La Plata’s ridge. Steep switchbacks up to the ridge. From here its follow the trail (faint in some places) up the ridge until you come to the false summit. At the false summit head left or east for another 5-10 minutes and you are there.