La Plata Canyon is located west of Durango in the San Juan National Forest area of southwest Colorado. Rugged mountains and snow-melt waterfalls await visitors to this verdant, river-cut canyon.

The first 4.6 miles is paved road (CR 124) and there after the road turns to gravel and then to mixed dirt and rock. The last 2.1 miles of the 9.5 miles is rugged and 4-wheel drive with high clearance is recommended.

Along the way are eight (8) campgrounds, several waterfalls and some interesting landmarks (old chimney and a couple of old mine camps scattered about). After passing through the old mining camp of La Plata City is the summit of Kennebec Pass (11,500 ft), which offers a breathtaking view across the La Plata Mountains from Indian Trail Ridge (part of the Colorado Trail).

From the parking area at the top of the summit are several trail options for mountain biking and hiking. The most popular is an easy to moderate 1.5 mi (2.4 km) round trip trail to Taylor Lake. The photo opportunities are great along this trail especially during the flower blooming in June and July.

Creek from Taylor Lake Mountain Meadows fall colors
Bedrock Falls Kennebec Pass Taylor Lake
Chimney Mountain Range Lower La Plata Falls

Photos by EMKotyk