La Plata Peak Northwest Ridge Standard

Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area, Colorado

Elevation Gain4,904ft
Trailhead Elevation10,105ft
Elevation Min/Max10105/14337ft
Elevation Start/End10105/10113ft

La Plata Peak Northwest Ridge Standard

La Plata Peak Northwest Ridge (Standard) is a hiking trail in Lake County, Colorado. It is within San Isabel National Forest and Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area. It is 4.2 miles long and begins at 10,105 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 4,904 feet. The trail ends near La Plata Peak (elevation 14,334 feet). This trail connects with the following: 82c and La Plata Peak Ellingwood Ridge.

La Plata Peak Northwest Ridge (Standard) Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Colorado Scrambles: A Guide to 50 Select Climbs in Colorado's Mountains (Colorado Mountain Club Press)
Dave Cooper
View more trails from this guide book
"The Ellingwood Ridge is one of the classic routes pioneered by the famous climber, Albert Ellingwood. This is another committing route, and it should be attempted only in good weather. Once you have engaged the major difficulties of the ridge, retreat is not easy. Many parties race for the summit as afternoon thunderstorms roll in. Expect to spend at least five hours actually on the ridge. You may notice that I’ve included more detail in this description than in most of the other routes in this book. This indicates the level of routefinding complexity to keep the difficulty at no more than 4th class while enjoying the wonderful scrambling that the ridge provides." Read more
Hiking Waterfalls in Colorado (Falcon Guides)
Susan Joy Paul
View more trails from this guide book
"Fifteen peaks above 14,000 feet dot the Sawatch Range, the most “14er-rich” mountain range in the state. The trail to one of these peaks—14,336-foot La Plata Peak— crosses South Fork Lake Creek, and provides splendid views of a lovely, twisting fan at “La Plata Falls.” The La Plata Trail is popular with hikers and climbers heading to the summit of La Plata Peak, so expect a full parking lot during the busy, summer season. This trail crosses private property - remain on the trail." Read more
Colorado's Incredible Backcountry Trails (Rincon Publishing)
David Day
View more trails from this guide book
"La Plata Peak lies in the Sawatch Range near the center of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. This 80-mile-long range of mountains contains more 14,000-foot peaks than any other range in the lower 48 United States. La Plata is the fourth highest peak in the range and the fifth highest in Colorado. Like most Sawatch peaks, La Plata is a relatively easy class-2 climb, but the feature that really gives it a personality of its own is the spectacular Ellingwood Ridge. This rugged 2-mile-long ridge up the northeast side of the mountain has intrigued mountaineers since La Plata was first climbed in 1873. The imposing ridge was named after Albert Ellingwood who first scaled La Plata via this route in 1921." Read more

La Plata Peak Northwest Ridge (Standard) Reviews

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
icon1 Total
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
What a great hike up one of the state's highest peaks! I actually hiked up via the West Winfield Trailhead on the other side of the peak, but the view from the summit is all the same. Photos and narrative can be found here:

La Plata Peak Northwest Ridge (Standard) Photos

Show off your photography skills ... post your pics of this trail!

Trail Information

Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area
Nearby City
Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
San Isabel National Forest, (719) 553-1400,; Leadville Ranger District, (719) 486-0749
Local Contacts
DeLorme Colorado Atlas & Gazetteer: Page 47 E6; USGS Colorado Quad Map: Independence Pass
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018