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The La Plata Peak in Colorado rises up to about fourteen thousand, three hundred and thirty-six feet above sea level. It is the fifth highest mountain in the State and is a perfect outback and adventure destination for those mountaineering enthusiasts. It has steep slopes, a huge summit plateau and wide ridges perfect for an adventure activity. This majestic mountain is situated at the back part of the Colorado Continental Divide by the Sawatch Range. This range is composed of twenty mountains whose peaks rise up to almost fourteen thousand feet.
La Plata is classified as a fourteener based on how they classify mountains. Though it is located with a number of mountains beside it, it is still known to be the favorite among the adventurers. The most challenging on to take on climbing is that through Ellingwood Ridge located at the northern part of the mountain. The climb for this route is rated at a class 3 to 5 making it the perfect ridge to climb if you’re one in search of an exciting and thrilling climb. It would surely need a lot of stamina and energy to climb this feat. Ellingwood Ridge goes about two miles and is packed with rock pinnacles giving it an edgier and rough look. If you think you’re up for the challenge, you should start your journey at dawn like those of the experienced climbers. If you start this early, you will be able to reach the peak just in time for sunrise and go back down before late afternoon to avoid the usual lightning storms that occur during this time.
The other routes to the peak in La Plata are rated at a Class 2, ideal for those who just want to climb with less intensity. The ridges with this class are the Southwest Ridge and the Northwest Ridge. If you choose to go through the latter, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view as you journey up top. It measures almost about a ten mile stretch and with an elevation of four thousand and four hundred feet.
By going through the Northwest Ridge, the magnificent views that you will get as mentioned earlier is that of the Ellingwood Ridge that can be seen before you would reach the summit. It would take you about three and a half hours to reach your destination and about less than three hours to go back to the bottom. Take note however that there is an absence of a camping site at the trailhead. You can do your camping at the Parry Peak Campground located upstream of Twin Lakes. There are also available ones at the Colorado 82 Road and South Fork Lake area. You should camp earlier though because the camping spots are on a first come, first serve basis and are easily packed with campers during the summer and on weekends.
The Southwest Ridge, on the other hand, is less taken by the mountaineerers as compared to the previous one due to its trailhead that is less likely to be accessible. However, if you take this route, you have just chosen a more peaceful route and is easier to take on than the previous two. To gain access here, you will have to go through Winfield which is by itself a historical mining town. You will discover a number of well-preserved and restored buildings that are privately owned. The Windfield Trailhead would lead you to the Southwest Ridge and can be located on a rough road on the way to Winfield Cemetery.