What a beautiful trail! This is one of my favorites. The hike through the forest next to La Plata Creek was the cat's meow. After tree line, the switchbacks get a little tiresome, but the peak is worth the work. My book said the trail is 8 miles roundtrip, but by my estimations it was about 12 miles RT because of the switchbacks. It really wore me out that day. Started around 9:15 am and reached summit at 12:45 pm.
Eighth of 10 fourteeners in 6 days. #16 overall.
Solo on a very Cloudy, foggy day. I couldn't see more than 10 feet in front of my shoes above 14,000 ft. Had to search around for the actual peak, and finally found the register. Snowed on me constantly above 12,000 ft or so. Very eerie to climb with little or no visibility - like being in a different world. I plan on climbing it again so I can enjoy the view from the peak!
The hike through the La Plata Gulch was beautiful, with some excellent views of Sayres Peak to the South (before the fog rolled in).
A very nice trail from the top of the 4WD road. Did not take very long to gain 1,000', even for a flatlander like me. You have to scramble up two ridges on this route. The first ridge which is just after you leave the basin. You can actually scramble up the face of the ridge, from a point where you will find two cairns, or follow the trail that switchbacks. We went up the face and came back down the trail. After gaining the first ridge at around 13,200, you are a short hike from the second ridge which is taller than the first. There are many cairns to guide you, however the trail becomes very faint in many places. After reaching the second ridge at around 14,000' you are about 30 minutes and two false summits from the top. A great view from the summit, no marker, but there was a summit register provided by The Colorado Mountain club. Thanks! A great mountain to climb and the summit cleared of clouds an hour before we got there.
Awesome Ridge! Very Nice Summit!
This is one of the best climbs I've had. The trail was great. Even the willows in the high basin were easy to get through. I climbed the large scree to the south false summit thinking I was reaching the true summit. I was really let down when I found out I still had a mile to go.
First attempted in May of 2001. Much snow - used snowshoes and crampons. Decided not to go all the way to summit as energy was dying and it was getting late in day. Turned around only 20 minutes from top. No trail could be seen - we had to break trail all the way in snowshoes - 13 hours of work and quite exhausting. Never sunk in so many holes with my snowhoes. Went back in June and did a fast solo up to summit - much easier.
Ellingwood Ridge was incredible. Good climb on solid rock. Started a little late and had to run up to the summit to avoid storms. A bad place to be caught in storm, little escape from the ridge, very tiring.
3rd summit of Nolan's 14. Reached summit about sunset, descended into Winfield just before midnight for about 3 hours sleep before climbing Huron.
Saw 14ers Initiative building a trail...makes it easier on the climber & the mountain!
Helped CFI on a trail building weekend. Was able to summit w/many of the AAC members. Great time Great summit
Brent Wessel and I (TJ) climbed La Plata Peak in 2 hrs 37 minutes, which was a pretty steady pace. When we started the climb at 8:18 AM, the air was a crisp 28-degrees, and there was frost on the grass. It was already starting to feel like Fall at this elevation. Along the way we saw marmots, pikas and ptarmigans. All in all, it was a beautiful day of climbing. We relaxed on the summit for over an hour enjoying the view and sunshine. I was very impressed with the good condition of the trail.
Happy Trails . . . TJ Burr
Author of "Rocky Mountain Adventure Collection."
Beautiful hike...that ridge looks tempting.
Easy hike with no route finding. What a cool view of the Ellingwood Ridge. I had the best view of the Elks Range.
My wife and I did the Northwest ridge route, it was a nice hike but cold and windy. There has been allot of work done on the trail which made it even better.
La Plata was the last of six 14ers that my friend Duane and I summitted during 6 wonderful days in September 2000. We got an early start because we needed to get on the road for home in Washington (not D.C.) immediately after the climb. It was a fantastic day to end our week-long adventure, but it was obvious from the change of weather earlier in the week that fall had arrived.