"A day hike to the summit of a 14,336-foot peak. The trail to La Plata Peak follows Lake Creek past a pretty slot canyon, then climbs along La Plata Gulch to reach a picturesque hanging valley. This valley makes a moderately strenuous day hike, while more ambitious travelers can attempt the difficult route to the top of 14,336-foot La Plata Peak to view a sea of wild mountains. La Plata is Spanish for “the silver,” so named by hopeful prospectors based in the Twin Lakes area. Geologically, the peak is a bit of an oddity: Its summit is Precambrian granite, among the oldest rock on Earth.
This caprock sits atop a base of a much younger porphyry that bubbled up from the Earth’s mantle relatively recently, about 50 million years ago. Although the trail to the summit does not appear on some maps, it is well maintained as far as the saddle just north of the peak. Beyond this point, the hike follows a scramble route marked intermittently by cairns, and some route-finding skills will be required to reach the summit."