Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Need to Know
The West Winfield Trailhead is small and very hard to reach, even during dry conditions due to the rough 4X4 road.
Road not maintained in winter.
Summit La Plata Peak from the trail less traveled. There were remnants of old mining tracks on the run, and Huron Peak
and the three Apostles provided a beautiful backdrop. The trail is spectacular as it climbs out of the forest and up the southwest ridge of La Plata Peak.
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.
Flora & Fauna
Dense pine forests, alpine meadows, wildflowers, tundra
Shared By: Mike Langenkamp