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La Plata Peak - Elevation 14,336 Feet

My Hike Of La Plata Peak, a Colorado 14er Near Twin Lakes, CO - July 24, 2008

La Plata Peak ColoradoLa Plata Peak is in the bag! Today I climbed the summit of La Plata Peak, the fifth highest mountain in Colorado at 14,336 feet in elevation.

"La Plata" means silver in Spanish, and it was given that name for the silver deposits throughout the area that once made the ghost town of Winfield bustling with mining activity. La Plata Peak stands tall and proud in the Sawatch Range, particularly in the region of Twin Lakes and Independence Pass. While the trailhead of the standard route is located on Highway 82 in Lake County, the summit is inside the Chaffee County border.

Enjoy the photos below. My summer was shortened and I tried to cram as much hiking time in the outdoors as possible!

-Steve

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Assorted Photos of La Plata Peak
La Plata Peak
La Plata Peak Ellingwood Ridge
TOP PHOTOS - The view of La Plata Peak from Mt. Elbert. The mountain's northern face is grand and imposing.

BOTTOM LEFT - Photo taken on Highway 82 near Independence Pass. La Plata Peak is on the right.

BOTTOM RIGHT - Another photo from Highway 82. La Plata Peak's summit is cut off to the right. That jagged ridge is Ellingwood Ridge. (The next time I return to this spot, I plan to replace this photo with a better shot that includes Ellingwood Ridge and La Plata Peak.)

Click any image to view it at a larger size. A new window will open.
La Plata Peak Trailhead
The Hike

I arrived at the trailhead at 5:10 a.m. with light barely showing to the east. I turned on my headlights for this photo. At approximately 5:20 a.m., I journeyed along the trail with moonlight as my source of light. It was pretty!

La Plata Peak Trail A bridge near the beginning of the trail.

Note: After crossing this bridge, the trail goes RIGHT. I mistakenly went left and was lost for about 30 minutes. (Photo taken after I had descended the mountain)

La Plata Gulch La Plata Gulch was running hard!
La Plata Peak Trail A clearing inside the La Plata Gulch area.
Columbines A large patch of columbines, the state flower of Colorado.
La Plata Peak Trail The uphill began in earnest as it turned left (east) toward the ridge. As usual, I wanted to show my friends in places like Arizona and Texas that we still have snow hanging around in some parts. ;)
La Plata Peak Trail
La Plata Peak
Continuing up!

La Plata Peak's summit can be seen just behind the "false summit" in the bottom picture.

Independence Pass Area
Ellingwood Ridge
Near the same spot of the two previous pictures, I captured the view looking toward Highway 82 and Independence Pass (top).

I also captured the pretty view of Ellingwood Ridge and La Plata Basin in the foreground (bottom).

Sawatch Mountains Almost there.

La Plata Peak
On The La Plata Peak Summit

Myself standing on the summit.

Goofy picture, but I was happy. :)

Sawatch Mountains Ahhhhhh ... the views!

The southerly view of the Sawatch Range with Crystal Lake down below.

Mountains Interestingly, clouds hovered just above the Taylor Park region. It appeared much of Taylor Park Reservoir was filled with fog! The poor folks who most have been camping down there. ;)
Patch of Snow You can see all my 14er, 13er and 12er climbs here:
Colorado 14ers
Colorado 13ers and 12ers

Maroon Bells and Snowmass Mtn. Just like last week on Mt. Elbert, I zoomed-in as best as I could on Snowmass Mountain. Look at all the snow still on that mountain! :p)

The Maroon Bells can be seen way out there to the left of Snowmass Mountain.

La Plata Peak Another photo of Highway 82 and the canyon leading to Independence Pass.
La Plata Peak Looking toward Twin Lakes.
Ellingwood Ridge If you know your mountains, then you should be able to recognize Mt. Elbert, Mt. Massive and Bull Hill (a 13er).
Sawatch Mountains Looking south again, I zoomed-in as best as I could toward Mt. Princeton. This photo will make it on my Mt. Princeton website. :)

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