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    La Plata Peak North Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    15.4 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    1,332 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    La Plata Peak North Trail

    Is climbing a Colorado 14er on the top of your adventure bucket list too? If so, the La Plata North Trail is the perfect summit hike that possesses the ideal ratio between strenuity and scenery. Immerse yourself in the high country as you ascend Colorado’s 5th highest peak and let the impeccable vistas of the surrounding mountainous landscape motivate you.

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    Route Description for La Plata Peak North Trail

    Summiting a Colorado 14er is no easy feat, but the La Plata Peak is considered one of the easier and more accessible summit adventures of the group. Reconnect with nature and challenge your endurance as you climb over m to the snow-capped summit. Reserved for intrepid explorers and experienced hikers, this trek requires some conditioning and preparation. Pack plenty of water (more than you anticipate needing… trust us) and make sure you are acclimated to the area’s elevation prior to your ascent. Additionally, we discourage you from hiking this trail in the winter months as it is prone to avalanches. Be sure to head out before dawn to summit before noon, mitigating the chances of getting caught in a storm, and wear layers as insurance against extreme conditions at the exposed peak. Note that State Highway 82 is subject to seasonal closure in the winter months.

    Who are we to shy away from a challenge? An exciting ascent such as the La Plata Peak North Trail is a difficult, but extremely rewarding climb that provokes a sense of personal achievement when you arrive at the summit. Let the panoramic views of the encompassing snow-capped craggy peaks motivate you and distract you from your tired feet as you trek. With stimulating sights and diverse topographies, this incredible adventure exhibits the beauty of the Colorado wilderness. If you are planning to hike this route, be sure to charge your camera because the stunning scenery warrants endless photo opportunities. As you can tell we really enjoy this hike, and if you try it out for yourself, you will understand why.

    Embark on your adventure along the La Plata North Trail from the trailhead off State Highway 82. From here, track south along the 82C trail, crossing a small footbridge over North Fork Lake Creek to an intersection. At this point, hikers will want to keep left onto the La Plata Peak Northwest Ridge Trail. Follow this path southeast over another small bridge, crossing the South Fork Lake Creek before dipping below the shade of towering pines. At the next junction, keep right to cross over yet another snowmelt stream. Now hiking south, the La Plata Peak Northwest Ridge Trail will guide hikers up a set of stone stairs and along the gurgling waters of the alpine stream through La Plata Gulch.

    Follow the forested route and it will eventually divert away from the stream, leading adventurers up a set of switchbacks. As you carefully navigate the winding trail, you will graduate the timberline which exposes stunning views of the encompassing snow-capped peaks. Now hiking through the alpine tundra be sure to keep an eye on the skies and notice if there are any marmots or pikas accompanying you along your trek. As you near the peak, there will be several more sets of seemingly never-ending switchbacks. The further you climb the increasingly steep and technical the terrain will become. Mind your footing as you venture along the rocky ridge and take your time as you scramble up the rocky scree to the peak.

    From the summit of La Plata Peak, conquerors will be rewarded with 360-degree panoramic vistas of the neighboring Collegiate Peaks and the impressive snow-dusted Sawatch Range peaks. Enjoy distant views of the Twin Lakes in the northeast, Mount Harvard in the southeast, and Colorado’s highest summit—Mount Elbert, in the north. Revel in the expansive vistas of the mountainous landscape as you relax and rehydrate at the summit. When you are ready to return, simply retrace your footing along the path all the way back to the trailhead, marking the end of your summit adventure.

    Trail Highlights

    La Plata Peak

    La Plata Peak is a famous fourteener (14er) and is ranked the 5th highest peak in Colorado. Standing at an elevation of 4,732 m in the Sawatch Mountain Range, La Plata Peak is a popular mountaineering ascent that presents epic vistas of the neighboring Colorado 14ers. Located in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness of San Isabel National Forest, the mountain was first climbed in 1873 by the Hayden Survey team. La Plata Peak, meaning silver in Spanish, was so named as a nod to the many silver deposits in the area.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How long is the La Plata Peak North Trail?

    La Plata Peak North Trail is a 15.4 km hike.

    How tall is La Plata Peak?

    La Plata Peak summits at an elevation of 4,372 m.

    What class is La Plata Peak?

    La Plata Peak requires a Class 2 scramble.

    Insider Hints for La Plata Peak North Trail

    • Avoid this trail after snowfall as it is prone to avalanches
    • State Highway 82 is subject to seasonal closure in the winter months
    • Wear crampons in the fall to navigate the likely snow-cloaked terrain
    • Head down to the Twin Lakes after your hike and have a picnic on the shoreline
    • Pack plenty of water, this trek is sure to exhaust you

    Getting to the La Plata Peak North Trail Trailhead

    La Plata Peak North Trail departs from the La Plata Peak Trailhead off State Highway 82.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Dispersed backcountry camping

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    La Plata Peak North Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    La Plata Peak North Trail Reviews

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