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Ptarmigan Trail (#35)

Intermediate
  4.5 ( 15 ) Favorite

Trail

13.2 mile 21.3 kilometer out and back
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 3,536' 1,078 m
Descent: -3,536' -1,078 m
High: 12,489' 3,807 m
Low: 9,116' 2,779 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 34% (19°)

Dogs

Off-leash
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Trail shared by Chelsea Gribbin

A climb to the summit of Ptarmigan Mountain

Chelsea Gribbin

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers

Overview

There are two ways to access Ptarmigan Trail, one is by Angler Mountain Trail and the other is starting from the Ptarmigan Trailhead up above the highway. If you start from the Ptarmigan Trailhead it is slightly longer but beautiful nonetheless.

Description

It starts with a steep climb crossing a residential road and then through a large meadow. Just before you hit the one mile mark, you'll enter into the trees and descend for about 1/4 of a mile before the powerlines. Cross under the powerlines back into thicker forest and there you'll find the trail begins to ascend again.

After a couple of miles, you'll pass Angler Mountain Trail on your right intersecting with Ptarmigan Trail. A half mile after this junction is a bench that overlooks the Gore Range on your left. This is a nice turning around point if you want a shorter hike. But, if you are ready to summit, continue on up around the next corner. This is where it starts to get steep, but the trail is still nice for hiking. The switchbacks start at this point, they are gradual, for the most part. Around mile 4.5 you'll arrive at treeline. Continue straight up the trail, and you'll reach an intersection with Ptarmigan Pass Trail and Ptarmigan Peak Trail. Continue straight on Ptarmigan Peak Trail. Another mile and you'll reach the summit! Now for the fun part, turn around and hike back down to the car, making sure to stay left at the Angler Mountain Trail intersection.

Flora & Fauna

Many wildflowers, Pika and maybe a marmot or two towards the summit!

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, History & Background

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Check-Ins

Aug 18, 2019
Patrick Csongei
my strava phone app recorded it as about half a mile shorter each way. incredible views and weather today 12mi — 4h 20m
Jul 28, 2019
Rob Hirsch
12.4mi — 6h 48m
Jul 27, 2019
Meaghan O.
13.2mi — 7h 45m
Jul 22, 2019
Rondi K
Jun 7, 2019
Mark Stratton
Oct 25, 2018
Maurisa Ginsberg
Oct 18, 2018
Devo1vd No
Oct 13, 2018
Robert S. Castiblanco
beautiful on fall 6mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 15 votes

#459

Overall
  4.5 from 15 votes
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Featured Hike Rankings

#89

in Colorado

#459

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13,711 Since Mar 14, 2015
Intermediate

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