"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."