La Plata Peak to Mt. Elbert

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Segment Overview: La Plata Peak to Mt. Elbert
Segment Overview: La Plata Peak to Mt. Elbert
Segment Profile: La Plata to Mt. Elbert
Segment Profile: La Plata to Mt. Elbert

Nolans Line

From the summit of La Plata Peak, take the standard Northwest Ridge route down to CO 82 (paved). Hike on CO 82 until the road to Echo Canyon, take a left, and take that road north. At the end of the road, a trail will start at the other side of Echo Creek.

Take the Echo Canyon Trail steeply up the canyon, being careful where the trail has disintegrated into the creek below. There is a faint trail split near 11,120′ – the left fork continues northwest up Echo Canyon. Take the right fork up the switchback towards the Golden Fleece mine.

The trail will dissolve at the mine. Gain the gentle south ridge up Bull Hill. You don’t have to summit Bull Hill, but can contour around the east side around 13,400′ to the northeast ridge. Hike to Point 13963 and continue on the main ridge to the summit of Mt. Elbert.

Slow-lans Alt.

From the summit of La Plata Peak, take the standard Northwest Ridge route down to CO 82 (paved). Hike on CO 82 until the Black Cloud TH. Take the Black Cloud/Southeast Ridge route up Mt. Elbert.

Water

  • Low on the La Plata Northwest Ridge route. Water is non-potable near the trailhead
  • Start of the Echo Canyon trail

Camping

  • Low on the La Plata Northwest Ridge route (near the water source)
  • On the switchbacks up towards the Golden Fleece Mine (dry)

Bailing/Resupply

From the summit of La Plata Peak, take the standard Northwest Ridge route down to CO 82 (paved). Hike on CO 82 until the townsite of Twin Lakes. A small grocery store and perhaps food trucks (and COFFEE!) are available in town. HW 24 is a few miles to the east. Hiker shuttles may even be available – consult the grocery store.

Skipping

From the summit of La Plata Peak, take the standard Northwest Ridge route down to CO 82 (paved). Hike on CO 82 until the townsite of Twin Lakes. Take the trail fork north onto the Colorado Trail, and take it north until. Halfmoon Road/FSR 110.

If you have second thoughts of skipping Mt. Elbert, there are multiple options along the Colorado Trail to summit Mt. Elbert, including the East Ridge and Northeast Ridge.

Turn left on FSR 110 and take it west until the North Halfmoon Creek TH for Mount Massive’s Southeast Slopes route and rejoin the main route, here.

To save some mileage and since you’re right there, you may also take Mount Massive’s East Slopes Route, which starts right across the road. Both are excellent routes to the summit of Mount Massive. The map currently ends at this trailhead, as it’s the logical choice if you’re already here.

Next: Mt. Elbert to Mount Massive and finishing at the Fish Hatchery


Slow-lans Guide Navigation:

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