La Plata Peak-Blackbear Trail #1478
ElevationAscent: 3,426' 1,044 m
Descent: -8' -2 m
High: 14,198' 4,327 m
Low: 10,780' 3,286 m
GradeAvg Grade: 17% (10°)
Max Grade: 83% (40°)
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“Summit La Plata Peak with Mt. Huron and the Three Apostles in the background.”— Mike Langenkamp
Road not maintained in winter.
Once at the trailhead, head directly north and cross a small creek and turn west for a bit. Following the steep trail you reach treeline at about 12,000 feet. Here the elevation levels out and you navigate through a large bog overgrown with willows. Expect to get your boots muddy here. Past the bog, you can see the steep trail which climbs to the ridge. Be careful here because of the loose rock and lack of traction, especially on the way down. Once on the ridge, the trail turns northeast and traverses the cliffs you viewed all morning. The trail steepens considerably again and gains 1,000 feet in a very short distance, boulder hopping all the way to the top of the ridge. Once on the ridge, continue climbing over two false summits. The trail joins the Northwest Slopes standard route (#1474) for the last 20 feet.
The trail that goes through the gate to the right of the start of the Southwest Ridge leads to the Tasmania Mine, one of the more prolific mines of the Winfield District.
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