La Plata Peak Standard Route Guide

La Plata Peak is named after ‘the silver’ in Spanish thanks to nearby silver deposits. The mining ghost towns Winfield and Hamilton nearby testify to this silver boom past. The Northwest Ridge route is an easy Class 2 scramble to the summit from the north. The trailhead is easy to access from the highway near Independence Pass, so you don’t need a special vehicle to reach it. Start planning your trip with this La Plata Peak Standard Route Guide.


La Plata Peak Fast Facts

  • Standard Route: Northwest Ridge
  • Trailhead: La Plata Peak
  • Elevation Gain: 4,500 feet
  • Round-Trip Distance: 9.25 Miles
  • Difficulty Level: Class 2 Scramble
  • Range: Sawatch Range

La Plata Peak Standard Route Guide

From the trailhead head across the vehicular bridge and walk along the road for a few hundred feet util you come across to the real entrance to the trail on your left. Don’t park up near this section as you’ll come back to a ticket on your car – it’s a private road. Head left up the route.

Continue through the trees and cross the creek over the well-built bridge less than 1 mile into the route. Enjoy the deep ravine below as you pass and begin to climb up the slope in the section to come.

Shortly after leaving tree line, switchback your way up a gully to gain the northwest ridge of La Plata Peak. Take a right at the top to traverse along the slope before reaching a large flat area around 12,300 feet.

This shows much of the route to come. Climb a steep pitch to the ridge before taking a 1.25 mile hike up to the summit, weaving along as you go.

Along the ridge head to the right to pass up and to the right of a large hump. Once past the hump continue up the ridge before turning left to reach the summit ridge.

Once you make it up the summit enjoy your accomplishment! Make sure you leave to head back down with plenty of time to reach tree line by the afternoon. I hope you enjoyed my La Plata Peak Standard Route Guide!

La Plata Peak Route Guide


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About the Author: Alex Derr

Alex Derr is a mountaineer and blogger based in Denver Colorado. He is working to climb Colorado’s highest 100 peaks, and the 20 tallest peaks in California. He created The Next Summit to share advice, stories, history & reflections from the Colorado Rockies & Sierra Nevada. When not climbing, he is managing the Communications strategy at Visible Network Labs.