La Plata Canyon

Consensus:    (details)
  2.5 from 2 votes
black  Difficult from 2 votes
Rank: #3 in the San Juan National Forest area
#307 in CO, #2,637 Overall
Views: 939. Last 30 days: 61
Condition Details | Update
Featured Ride in the area near Mancos,
“A long, sustained climb up the La Plata Canyon road.”
Patrick Yarbrough on Oct 13, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
18.529.8 milesKilometers 2,870’875 m Ascent 11,611’3,539 m High 6% Avg Grade (3°)
0% Singletrack -2,871’-875 m Descent 8,745’2,665 m Low 18% Max Grade (10°)
Starting at the second dirt parking lot with the cattle gate, follow the La Plata canyon road up to where the road meets the Colorado trail.

Even though this is a dirt road with no singletrack, there are some nice views along the way, making it worth it!
The ride is very easy and casual for the first four miles until the road goes over Boren Creek, consisting of well maintained and heavily traveled dirt road. There is only about 500 feet of elevation gain these first 4 miles and travels through many beautiful aspen and pine groves along the La Plata river.

After Boren Creek, the road becomes a high clearance 4x4 road and starts getting substantially steeper and rockier. This is the difficult part of the ride, as it gains over 2000 feet of elevation in the remaining 5 miles.

This ride is very easy to alter and customize to suit your preferences. Since it follows a dirt road, you can drive as far along as you want (until finding an appropriate parking spot) and beginning wherever you want. Furthmore, there are many steep jeep roads that branch off the main road and make for very fun and steep rides themselves. Expect a wild and fast descent back to your car.
History & Background
There are several historically relevant sites along the road such as abandoned mines and mills.
View in 3D
Forecasting the weather...
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PHOTOS of La Plata Canyon
  3.8 from 5 votes
After getting hit by a random snowstorm. (Rico, CO)
  3.8 from 4 votes
Nice views of aspen and Silver and Deadwood peaks to the east. (Mancos, CO)
  3.6 from 5 votes
Cool waterfall along the road. (Mancos, CO)
  2.7 from 3 votes
La Plata Canyon is equally inviting for winter fat biking as it is for s... (Rico, CO)