Ptarmigan Trail

Summit County, Colorado

Distance2.0mi
Elevation Gain1,218ft
Trailhead Elevation9,091ft
Top9,927ft
Elevation Min/Max9091/9927ft
Elevation Start/End9091/9091ft

Ptarmigan Trail

Ptarmigan Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Summit County, Colorado. It is within White River National Forest. It is two miles long and begins at 9,091 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,218 feet.

Ptarmigan Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Loop Hikes Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Steve Johnson & David Weinstein
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"Here is an excellent lollipop loop in the hills above Silverthorne in a small triangle of the Williams Fork Mountains and Arapaho National Forest. The route is a mellow stroll on a gentle grade and soft tread through aspen and pine forest, with great views of the Gore Range, Dillon Reservoir, and the high mountains far to the south. This hike kicks off with a short climb through a little stand of trees and up a steep gravel road to the top of the hill, where the trail continues up a dry, south-facing slope of stubby sage and grasses. As we pass under a huge power pole, note the faint trail coming in from the right; that is our return route. Just past this junction, the path leads into a forest mix of pine and aspen. The trail is in superb condition, hugging the contours of the mountain on soft tread and easy, even flat grades in these early stages." Read more
Best Hikes Near Breckenridge and Vail (Falcon Guides)
Maryann Gaug
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"The Ptarmigan Trail climbs steadily through various ecosystems including sagebrush meadow, lodgepole pine, aspen, spruce-fir, and alpine tundra—the land above the trees. While thick forest envelops the trail between 1.7 and 4.2 miles, a few open spaces provide great views of the Gore Range or the lower Blue River valley. As you hike above treeline, keep your eyes open on the north ridge for the resident elk herd. The long hike is rewarded by beautiful vistas from the top, including four 14,000-foot peaks, much of the craggy Gore Range, the Tenmile Range, and Dillon Reservoir. A shorter, difficult 5.2-mile option is noted." Read more
Hiking Colorado's Summit County Area (Falcon Guides)
Maryann Gaug
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"The Ptarmigan Trail climbs steadily through various ecosystems including sagebrush meadow, lodgepole pine, aspen, spruce-fir, and alpine tundra —the land above the trees. While thick forest envelops the trail the first 4 miles, a few open spaces provide great views of the Gore Range or the lower Blue River valley. As you hike above treeline, keep your eyes open on the north ridge for the resident elk herd. The long hike is rewarded by beautiful vistas from the top, including four 14,000-foot peaks, much of the craggy Gore Range, the Tenmile Range, and Dillon Reservoir." Read more

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Trail Information

Summit County
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
USDA Forest Service, Dillon Ranger District, 680 Blue River Pkwy., Silverthorne; (970) 468-5400; www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver; www.dillonrangerdistrict.com
Local Contacts
USGS Dillon; Nat Geo Trails Illustrated 108 Vail/Frisco/Dillon; Latitude 40˚ Summit County Trails; USFS White River National Forest map
Local Maps