Ptarmigan Lake Trail is a 10.9 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Seward, Alaska that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and nature trips and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 10.9 km Elevation Gain: 322 m Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

forest

lake

river

views

wildlife

hiking
blowdown
over grown
6 months ago

The first bit of the trail up to where Falls Creek mine road splits off is well maintained. After that, it is more primitive and a bit rough in spots. Lots of roots to go over, I wouldn’t recommend a mountain bike. The last half of the trail when you get out of the spruce is very overgrown. Even with most of the plants dead for the winter, the trail disappears in a couple spot. I never worried about losing the trail, but seriously USFS, if by chance you read these, would it kill your budget to send a couple workers out there with a line trimmer a few times a year? Decent views in a few places farther up but mostly in the woods. The lake is worth the bushwhacking. I’ll most definitely be making the trip next year to camp up there for a few nights.

hiking
over grown
9 months ago

The trail starts off wide and clear, but then gets very overgrown. It was great once we got to the lake, but it was a long hike with a 3 year old on my back and a 6 year old walking on his own. He did great! The kids loved the lake!

hiking
9 months ago

We loved the views. The overgrown trail is tough at points but challenging at the same time. On a 70 degree day, a swim in the lake is an awesome reward for completing the trip out!

10 months ago

Way overgrown! the beginning is nice and the view of the wildflowers and Lake were pretty but the last portion of the gike was torture i have so many devils club scratches

backpacking
over grown
10 months ago

hiking
bugs
over grown
10 months ago

Trail was nice at first, the first bit of it right next to the river...trail is about 3.5 miles one way and about a mile or so before the lake, you literally have to push through overgrown brush. Once we got to the lake, it was just ok-views weren’t spectacular or anything and the flies were out of control, even with bug spray. Not worth it in my opinion during this time of the year

hiking
10 months ago

Nice low incline trail. Trail is easy to follow but was a bit overgrown the last third portion of the trail. The lake is very nice. We started at 9:30 am and were the first car in the parking area. We never saw anybody else until about 1/3 of the way coming back from the lake. Trail starts along glacial fed stream with wildflowers in patches.. There is a short stretch near the beginning that takes you right next to the stream. The water is high right now and the water covers a bit of the trail there. No big deal, you’ll just need to stay up high on the bank for a maybe 50 yards.. Trail rises away from stream for most of the trail with shaded and sunny areas. About 2/3 of the way, much of the southern facing open areas were overgrown but we pushed through it. There is an open toilet (outhouse with no privacy walls) at the end of the trail. Stay to the right at the fork (left to outhouse) and walk along to lake a little ways to find some nice rocks to sit and eat your lunch with a view of he lake. We saw ptarmigans with chicks and a few other birds and squirrels. Views were spectacular but obstructed by wildfire smoke today (July 1) By the way, we drove through the adjacent Ptarmigan campground and it was quite nice with many open spaces

backpacking
11 months ago

Great trail, limited campsites and bear poop on the trail. Gorgeous view at the base of the lake.

Mon May 13 2019

Pretty cruisy hike, good little hangover cure. Not a lot to see til you get there but the lake is nice

hiking
bridge out
muddy
rocky
Sun Apr 28 2019

Good trail for an easy afternoon hike. Not too strenuous and good scenery throughout! The lake at the end is beautiful.

hiking
Wed Apr 17 2019

04/13/2019. Clear all the way to the lake. There were a few spots close to the beginning where micro spikes could help on descent but other than that it’s great. Two spots where you have to cross waterfalls that could use a board for safety. The lake is the prize. Has a toilet that is in the open so not privacy there!

hiking
blowdown
snow
Sat Mar 23 2019

Still a good amount of punchy snow on the trail, but melting away fast with all the recent rain. Some trees have fallen down across the trail over the winter. Nice creek views along the early part of the trail. I have some friends who say that the view from the toilet at Ptarmigan Lake is one of the finest 'outhouse' views in Alaska. See for yourself

Tue Feb 26 2019

Great summer trail. just remember your Skeeter repellant.

Sat Sep 15 2018

Very overgrown this time of year (September)

hiking
Tue Aug 07 2018

Great trail with a beautiful lake as the prize. Last 1.5 miles is pretty overgrown but you can manage if you pay attention. River views mostly along beginning 1.5 miles and keeps you cool, we love this trail, easy to find and follow.

camping
Mon Jun 11 2018

Great trail....wonderful scenery and a lot of solitude! Good for an overnight or day trip in and out.

hiking
Sun Jul 16 2017

This is a wonderful mellow trail with some elevation gain. Currently, 7/15/17, the trail leads comfortably to the lake (~3mi). At the lake, the trail continues but is very bushy and raw. Enjoy!!

hiking
Fri May 12 2017

Beautiful day yesterday, violets are out, only a few skitters.Mostly dry trail.

Sun Oct 02 2016

I hiked this trail October1, 2016. My GPS measured it as 3.75 miles to the near edge of the lake. it was an overcast day, but very calm when I arrived. I got some fantastic reflection pictures because the water was so calm. I hiked about half way to the other end of the lake, and found several good vantage points for photos. The weather started to change, so I turned back at the point where the trail met a large Boulder face. This was elevated and had a view of a water cascade on the opposite side. Not many people on the trail at this time of year, very pleasant.

Sun May 29 2016

Trail is moderate with some AMAZING views. Not much elevation. The lake is beautiful but be sure to pack some bugs spray.

camping
Sat May 21 2016

A very pretty hike done on a very pretty day. Easier coming out, as it in mainly downhill. I overnighted at the lake and watched a gorgeous sunrise. With a 40 lb pack and my dog, it took us 2 hours to hike in and 1.5 hours to hike out.

hiking
Fri Apr 10 2015

Hiked this trail on a snowy Easter Sunday, 2015. Gorgeous. Birds singing all along the creek. Snow on the pines.

hiking
Wed Jul 13 2011

My wife and i have done this hike several times. It is a great day hike up to the lake for lunch and back. It usually takes us 2-3 hours to get to the lower end of the lake where there is a nice camping area with a bear proof food storage box. The trail can be a little overgrown later in the summer. It is not a tough hike and for the most part is a nice gently rise to the lake. Our dogs love to swim and play in the lake after the hike in, and we had a great time lounging by the water and cooling our feet.

hiking
Thu Aug 26 2010

We took Ptarmigan Lake Trail as far as the lake (3.5 miles one way). The trail continues on around the lake. The trail was pretty muddy, but Alaska has had 32 straight days of measurable rain in this area. The blueberries were out (and delicious). The bears thought so, too. Although we did not see any, we saw evidence of them. Very scenic trail, starting along the Ptarmigan Creek, then gradually up about 750 feet overlooking the valley and then back down to the lake. Most of it was easy to follow, but parts get somewhat overgrown. The view at the lake is really nice. Take a lunch and picnic...

hiking
6 days ago

Showing results 1 - 25 of 55