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La Plata Peak

The fifth-highest peak of the Rocky Mountains


Last updated: by Olha Savych
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La Plata Peak with the serious height of 4,372 m (14,344 ft) is one of the most prominent in the state of Colorado. It is located in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness of San Isabel National Forest, not far from Buena, Chaffee County, Colorado. The mountain was named "La Plata" that means silver in Spanish due to its abundant deposits of this precious metal. Visitors can stop by ghost towns Winfield and Hamilton where silver mining industry was centered in the past century.

La Plata Peak Trail is located off Highway 82. The trail to the peak is 14.8 km (9.2 mi) long. It's an excellent one day hike and the first 14er for many Colorado hikers. The trail leads across a bridge over South Fork Lake Creek, goes through the forest, crosses a stream and goes steeply up La Plata Peak switchbacks.

The best time to climb La Plata Peak is from late June through early September. But beware of the afternoon summer thunderstorms common in the Rockies. So start the hike early to get off the summit by the afternoon.

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