La Plata Peak Trailhead


Road Difficulty

Paved Road 0   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD paved to the TH.

Driving Directions

From U.S. 24 south of Leadville, take Colorado 82 west towards Twin Lakes. Drive 14.5 miles on Colorado 82 until you see the marked trailhead and parking area on the left.

Winter Access

Usually open year-round.
Status Updates 
Posted By: msmillertx
Info: I talked with the Park Ranger this morning who informed me the bridge should be finished this afternoon! She assured me there would be no problem hiking across the creek this weekend.
Posted By: boudreaux
Info: The TH is still closed due to the bridge work, and the creek is still running high! A couple of places to park off the road are just to the west of the TH and on the southside, but the creek is the crux of the whole thing!
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook

The Forest Service is in the process of replacing the bridge on FR 391 (South Fork Lake Cr. Road) over the North Fork of Lake Creek. All access to the Northwest Ridge and Ellingwood Ridge routes up La Plata will be closed until after the bridge replacement project is completed. We anticipate completion by July 19, 2014. Work began on this bridge on June 2, and although the area is well signed, the contractor is having issues with people parking in his way, and walking over the bridge that they are in the process of dismantling.

Leadville Ranger District
San Isabel National Forest
719 486-7409

If you still want to hike La Plata Peak from this trailhead, you’ll need to park away from the work area (possibly along Highway 82 where you can safely get off the pavement) and find a way to cross the creek, just south of the highway, to regain the dirt road. The water level in Lake Creek will likely be quite high while the bridge is closed so BE CAREFUL if you decide to cross.
Posted By: ctlee
Info: Took a drive over Independence Pass to check out some trailhead conditions. There‘s a sign at the LaPlata trailhead that says the bridge will be impassable to auto and pedestrian traffic from 5/27-7/12. Never having done it before, I don‘t know if the bridge crossing is necessary or if there‘s another way through there-figured a heads up was good before anyone took the long drive up there!
Posted By: cjfessler
Info: Could not reach trailhead with 2011 Subaru Outback. We made it about 4 mikes out before getting stuck in the snow. Probably could have made it a bit further with a V-6. We were definitely the first car on the road for a while. Made for a good snowshoe day! Would recommend skiing in as we had to break trail all the way to the trailhead.
Posted By: bking14ers
Info: We drove a KIA Sorento all the way to the 4WD parking area, past the West Winfield TH. It is rough going in places but passable by any higher clearence vehicle to that point. The Chaffee County 390 road is a washboard all the way back. That was a long anoying drive back in, but OK for any car at least untill the WWTH.
Posted By: winmag4582001
Info: Started up the road at 5am. No moon was out and it was darker than the inside of a goat! I walked right past the trailhead. Luckily there were 4 guys coming back down the road that had done the same thing.
*Note: If you are leaving in the dark, the trailhead is roughly 450 steps past the end of the bridge, about 20 steps past the green gate. Also, when you get to the creek, do NOT follow parallel to the creek, the bridge is straight in front of you. If you look next to the tree that the trail runs into, you will see three rock steps.
This may sound obvious, but if its your first time there and you are in the dark, it will help.
The trail is easy to follow when you get past the bridge.
Posted By: vdavidoff
Info: Yesterday on the way to the trail head, 82 was unplowed after about .5mi from 285. I was on 82 from 5am to 6am driving through fresh snow and didn‘t see a single soul, let alone a snow plow.

Signage on the road indicates that there is no plowing 7pm to 5am, so the absolutely earliest 82 would be plowed would be sometime after 5am.

When I left the trail head at 3pm, the road was basically totally clear, having been plowed and melted by the sun.

The point of this report is to indicate the hours during which the road is definitely not plowed.
Posted By: semitrueskerm
Info: Easy access as always to the NorthWest La Plata Trailhead. An incredible amount of snow has melted in the last four weeks. Watch out for the ice-sheet on the road/trail between the parking lot and the bridge a tenth of mile down yonder. A spill here is the equivalent of falling on a ski mountain catwalk... ouch!
Posted By: RJansen77
Info: Paved and plowed all the way, easy for any car.
Posted By: Theodore
Info: CO82 up to the TH was easily drivable in a car. Look for turn off/parking area (use your odometer) as the plows have hidden the La Plata TH sign and blocked the road up to the standard summer TH. Hike on snow covered road to summer TH is packed and easy. Maybe 1/4 mile from 82 to TH.
Posted By: Dancesatmoonrise
Info: 82 open to La Plata. Snowpacked and icy in spots. 2wd should make it ok.
Posted By: JsinDeAZ
Info: Road open all the way and big area cleared for vehicles to park. Snow and icy patches on road after Twin Lakes, but nothing serious. Any car can make it.
Posted By: JosephG
Info: Open. 82, with 1-2 exceptions, is snow-free from junction with 24 to the TH. A scooter can make it (though it‘d be cold).
Posted By: greenwade
Info: 82 all the way from 24 to TH is largely snow and ice-free. A small 2wd car would be fine.
Posted By: hollamby
Info: TH is plowed and 82 was fine, although the pass was closed comming from the west. But approaching from the E to W no problem.
Posted By: Doctor No
Info: Patches of ice on Highway 82, but nothing scary. The lot is still well-plowed.
Posted By: quaggy
Info: Hwy 82 was open to the trailhead. The road was mostly dry with some icy spots. The trailhead parking area was plowed with ample parking.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Open and dry.
Posted By: RoanMtnMan
Info: Still snowed in at the highway. Room for a few cars and continuous snow from highway to summer TH.
Posted By: Chicago Transplant
Info: Drove by this on 5/11 heading towards the winter closure gate for another peaks. The parking area is still surrounded by snow banks and only room for about 3 cars. The dirt road that marks the start of the route was completely snowed in from what we could see.
Posted By: markf
Info: CO 82 is dry and clear to the La Plata Trailhead and beyond. The full width of the road isn‘t clear but cars can pass one another. There‘s room for 3-4 cars on one side of the road and a few more on the other side.
Posted By: Kiefer
Info: The road past the town of Twin Lakes is packed powder with bare spots. The closer to the actual trailhead you drive, the road is completely plowed and packed powder. The trailhead itself has powder on the ground but nothing more than 3".

Jeeps and 4x4 vehicles (or all wheel drive) can actually make it all the way in to the trailhead for McNasser Gulch.
Posted By: geol_climber
Info: Independence pass is open...that trailhead is open and same as the south winfield trailhead
Posted By: KirkT
Info: Independence pass is still closed several miles further than the trail head. The parking lot and trailhead are very accessible and snow free.

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