Start Elevation: 10,000 ft.
Summit Elevation: 14,336 ft.
Elevation Gain: 4340 ft.
Round-trip Mileage: 9.5 mi (books)
TRIP REPORT:One notable and likeable part of hiking La Plata is that the trailhead is just off of a main road, that is, CO-82. The initial hike is through the forest at the beginnings of La Plata Gulch. As you ascend up to about 11,300 the hike starts turning to the east and hiking up the ridge. The trail traverse along the west side of the NW ridge a bit but eventually gains the ridge at around 12,800.
When we hit the crest of the ridge we were in for two interesting surprises. First we had amazing views of the Ellingwood Ridge which would make for an awesome hike one day. The other surprise was the amount of snow that lay ahead of us. Much of it was fresh and we even had a little new snowfall as we headed forward. The rocks around us were covered slowing us down some. This was the most snow we'd encountered on a mountain thus far.