La Plata Peak North Trail

HARD 69 reviews

La Plata Peak North Trail is a 8.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Twin Lakes, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until August. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,294 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

Directions from Leadville: From Leadville, travel south on US Highway 24. Travel west on Highway 82, it's fourteen miles to the turn off marked South Fork Lake Creek. Parking is provided on the south side of highway 82 at this junction. FDR 391 crosses private land for 1.6 miles and parking is not allowed anywhere along this stretch. Walk approximately 1/3 mile on the road to the signed beginning of the La Plata Gulch Trail.

3 days ago

1. This is longer than 8.3. More like 9.5. Consider that for time. We started at 5.20 am and we were in the car at 1pm. We hike a pretty average pace, but most people we going significantly slower.

2. DON'T MISS THE TRAIL TURNOFF! If you're walking in the dirt road for more than 10 minutes, you may have missed it. It's easy to do in the dark, even with headlamps, and one guy we met missed it by 40 mins. It's about 5 mins down the trail on the left.

15 days ago

A couple of marathons, numerous obstacle races, and raising 4 teenage girls. But nothing could prepare me for this beast. Only had 2 days to acclimate from sea level, and this mountain kicked our butts. It throws everything at you so it’s not at all boring. But prepare your mind for a test.

hiking
16 days ago

A beautiful 14er, but not the greatest trail. The first couple of miles through the trees is great, but be prepared for very steep, eroded, gravel-y trail after the ridge/buttress. A few other notes: limited parking at the trailhead and no restroom. It looks like there are some places to park, however, further down the 4WD road a quarter mile past the trailhead. It's certainly a beautiful, worthwhile trail, just know that you'll earn it!

Great! Steep but after every corner new views! We made it until 12,000 feet in 3 hours. We needed 2 hours to go down. We love the variety in the landscape!

29 days ago

Great fun

hiking
1 month ago

This was a challenging but nice 14er. Not scary challenging, but just soul sucking challenging. The trail has a good mix of everything from forest hiking to rock scrambling. Do be warned that the hike is longer than ~8 miles listed. It’s closer to 10 something miles.

hiking
1 month ago

Don’t let the description fool you, this trail is closer to 12 miles round trip. Technical towards the top, steep up and steep down. Beautiful views the entire way. Hard work but worth it

hiking
1 month ago

The views are nothing short of spectacular. This trail has it all; forest, rivers, meadows and summit views. But you have to earn this one! Start early, the decent takes almost as long as the summit climb. The boulder field is one for the books and is easy to lose your route and your hiking friend lol. Happened twice today. No snow issues but the winds were brutal.

hiking
2 months ago

By the time we were back at the trailhead, gps said it was over 12 Miles. This hike is tough and has a bit of every type of terrain. If you have hiking poles they may be helpful but not necessary. You need to park on the main road and then walk on a dirt road to the trailhead. Views from the summit are beautiful!

hiking
2 months ago

Incredibly beautiful views. But man, you had to earn this one. I’ve done a couple 14ers (Massive and Holy Cross) and this was probably the toughest. Shorter than the prior two, but the footing and terrain was incredibly difficult. Steep inclines, super challenging and steep switch backs.. a boulder field that seems to never end.. its one thing to struggle up, but seemed harder making it down while keeping footing. Quads, body, and soul are crushed.

That said, the views are second to none. Amazing.

hiking
2 months ago

Super tough for our group of 10 ranging in ages 9-49. 2 made it to the very top (including the 49 year-old), 3 more of us made it to 13,500 (including the 9 year old). But everyone else had to turn around almost half way up because of the steep incline. Definitely did a lot of snow sliding on the way down. Very exhausting hike for us. Lots of water bottles was needed. Beautiful views and great pictures!

hiking
2 months ago

This one makes you earn it. Scenic hike thru the woods to start, and then you hit the "stairmaster"(you'll know when you hit it). Elevation gain gets real once you're out of the treeline. Snow causes a bit of improv when it comes to the trail from about 12,500 on. Cairns will help you from 13,000 on, but go with with what's comfortable, and keep winding up to the left. Head too far right and you'll go well out of your way. Lots of friendly "critters" at the top, and the views were some of the best! Started around 7am and reached the summit by 12:30. Took our time with all the wind, but blue skies. Got back to the car by 3pm. Getting down to about 12,000 can take some time. I recommend sliding while there's snow.

hiking
2 months ago

hard hike, but it is so worth it. super windy when we got out of the tree line and the trail isn't marked very well so you have to pay close attention.

3 months ago

This was my first 14er. Not from altitude, and even with both Tylenol 1g and 400mg ibuprofen I still had a pounding headache above 12.5k. That didn't stop me from loving this hike though.

Really tough. Super short of breath. But the views at the end were absolutely amazing. The hike up varied a lot in terrain, and I loved every section of it. Coming down was hard. Lost my way a few times even with a GPS app since the trail was not well marked.

Would do this again.

hiking
4 months ago

This was the most brutal hike I've ever been on. Man it was hard. I was 28 and in solid shape at that time, but everything after 13,500f was a struggle. My dog and I made it to the top, though most people we met who started the trail had to turn around. It's worth it though! On the way down a giant piece of rock went flying between me and my dog - we were lucky not to get hurt. Make sure you get on the trail before 7am.

cross country skiing
5 months ago

A solid intro to back country skiing. Pretty easy-going. My dad and I did this about a month ago and there was just enough snow to ski, but plenty of snow-shoers and micro-spiked hikers did just fine out there.

11 months ago

Starts with a beautiful hike through the woods, with a soundtrack of running water from the creek right along the trail. Above tree line, gorgeous views. A long and challenging hike that requires some endurance. We accidentally got off trail and did some precarious scrambling over boulders near the top - don't stray too far from the sandy trail. That said - the sandy trail/loose rock does get slippery and makes it tricky to keep your footing on the descent. We started at 9am which is too late for this 14er, especially at our slow pace - we finished at 8pm, just as it got dark! Lesson: start at sunrise.
Overall - this is a GORGEOUS and CHALLENGING hike.

hiking
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Excellent. This was my first 14er, and took me about 8 hours to do. Things I should've done: start earlier (plan to be on the trail 15-30 min before sunrise), and spend an extra day acclimating.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Great hike yesterday. Dry conditions. Trail is easy to follow until you get to the last 1500 feet then you need to look for the best route between rock cairns.

hiking
Sunday, July 23, 2017

Definitely a strenuous hike--the elevation gain is tough, but the scenery and views at the summit are unmatched.

hiking
Saturday, July 15, 2017

Amazing hike very well worth the work. It is a tough one for sure but the views at the top are second to none. Trail is in great shape well distinguished at lower elevations and Marked well with cairns at higher elevations. This is a no joke hike the gain is 4300 feet from the trailhead. I recommend staring early. We started at 6:30 am and summited around 1. The most pica and marmot I've seen on a 14 er yet well worth the work.

hiking
Monday, July 03, 2017

We started at 6:30am and summited by 10:30am. It's quite the hike even for active Coloradans, but worth it. We heard and saw lots of Marmots. If you can start earlier than 6:30am then I recommend it. The trail is nice and shaded on the way up with the angle of the sun but on the way back down the sun was burning hot. Our pup loved all the streams in the first couple miles and then last couples miles. It helped keep her cool. I'm not sure if people every see noise around there but it seemed like a spot they would be found.

hiking
Monday, June 26, 2017

Friend and I hit the trail just after 8am. Took about 2h30m to get up. Trail is almost completely dry besides a few very small snow patches that are easily crossable. Not much wind up top and it was a beautiful sunny day. Took about 2h to get back down to the bottom.

backpacking
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Great first 14er for anyone interested in hiking/backpacking. Completed this in two days. The first day was a short hike to the base of the mountain to the designated campgrounds. Second day was the hike to the summit and back to the parking lot. GREAT CLIMB! Fun photo op with LA PLATA street signs at the summit.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Amazing views of the mountains and river. Mid-June weekend and ran into few hikers, which is NICE.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

I reached La Plata's peak on November 6, 2016. This is a very difficult 14er with great views. But make no mistake, the last several hours (it took almost 8 hours up and six hours back) are CLIMBING, not hiking. There was also about a foot of snow at the higher elevations.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

this was my first 14er. hard, but worth it.

hiking
Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Best! This is an absolutely top notch 14er. I've done a couple dozen 14ers since moving to Colorado and La Plata is one of the few that I would happily do over and over again.

Solid gain, well kept trail and spectacular views.

Tips: make sure to follow the trail closely for the first bit. A couple of people have mentioned they took a wrong turn off the main trail shortly after the trailhead.

hiking
Monday, July 18, 2016

Beautiful place hard hike

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Start early, you're in for a LONG day. One of the toughest 14ers I have done. Gorgeous view from the top

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