This past weekend we hiked La Plata Peak outside of Twin Lakes, CO. It is the 5th highest peak in Colorado… and the best part of the trip… it wasn’t crowded! Even though it was over the 4th of July weekend.
We hiked about two miles in on Saturday afternoon with our two pups. It was a gorgeous evening and we were so excited that after 2 miles of pretty much straight uphill, it evened out into a meadow across the stream.
We found a little trail leading across the stream and set up camp for the evening. We had it all to ourselves 🙂
After hanging our food and the dogs’ food in a tree so that a bear doesn’t get it, we snuggled into our sleeping bags, look up at the stars and enjoyed the sounds of the wilderness.
The next morning, we started hiking around 7am. The hike is pretty solidly all uphill – and it’s steep. You gain almost 1,000 ft. of elevation every mile.
Around 10:00am, we reached the summit and it’s breathtaking views. Nothing beats the wide open view of the Rocky Mountains.
Noticing some rain clouds in the far distance, we began our descent. It took us much less time to descend and we were down at our campsite around 12pm. We ate some snacks, packed up camp, let the dogs rest for a second and were off again.
We reached the car at 2:30pm and our pups (and us) were so happy to be back. It was awesome to get away from the hoards of people that usually climb fourteeners. If you are looking for a more remote but still very doable and accessible trail, this is it! The trail was one of the best we have ever hiked on a fourteener.
Getting there – from Denver:
Head west on US-285 heading towards Fairplay and Buena Vista — Turn right on US-24 which will lead you through the town of Buena Vista — Turn left onto CO-82 W which will lead you through Twin Lakes — Drive on CO-82 W for appx. 15 miles until you see a sign for La Plata Peak — the parking lot is located on the left of the highway
Head west on I-70 — Take exit 195 for CO-91 S towards Copper Mountain/Leadville — Continue on US-24 E which will take you through Leadville — Turn right onto CO-82 W which will lead you through Twin Lakes — Drive on CO-82 W for appx. 15 miles until you see a sign for La Plata Peak — the parking lot is located on the left of the highway
Total miles: 9.5
Estimated hiking time: 4 hours up, 2.5 hours down
Total elevation gain: 4500 ft.