La Plata Peak's (14,336ft) Ellingwood Ridge is a fun challenge for experienced hikers. At 9.5 miles round-trip, this is a particularly long hike because of the time needed to navigate the complex class-3 route. The trailhead is at South Fork Lake Creek Rd on the eastern side of Independence Pass, past Twin Lakes. Start early!

If Ellingwood sounds like too much, the class-2 Northwest Ridge, accessed from the same trailhead, is an easier and more straightforward climb.