This is La Plata, a 14er in Colorado. This is the start of our climb. It is beautiful!
All of the books say this is about 10 miles round trip. My Map My Run app with GPS said it was 8.17 miles one way!
This pic was taken from a mountaineering site. I use it to show the crazy path to the top. This is by far the hardest climb I have ever done.
We got up at 3:15 Sunday morning and hit the road from Aurora at 4:00, arriving at the trailhead at 7:15. It was a beautiful clear day with a wonderful chill in the air. We parked on the highway and walked up the road to the start of the trail. It is poorly marked and we spent the first 15 minutes second guessing our choice to start a full day hike on a path that looked wrong.
The only indication that it is the La Plata hike is a wooden sign that says “The first mile of the La Plata trail is on private property”. Hmmmm.
The rest of the morning was amazing. There were very few people on the trail for a holiday weekend and it was very peaceful. Perry was very patient while I took slow, careful steps straight up to the heavens.
We hit the summit at 12:15. 4:45 minutes of bouldering, steps, switch-backs, and a slight pain in the knee I blew during the Colfax 1/2 marathon only 3 1/2 months ago!
We ate lunch at the top and started down. The skies were clear so we took our time at the top. The hike down took about 3 1/2 hours and was tough on the body!
Overall, I can’t imagine a harder, more satisfying day.