Ptarmigan Peak is a 9.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Silverthorne, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
cross country skiing
The Ptarmigan Trail climbs steadily through various ecosystems including sagebrush meadow, lodgepole pine, aspen, spruce-fir, and alpine tundra. A few open spaces provide great views of the Gore Range or the lower Blue River valley. 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. Start hiking early to avoid thunderstorms and lightning. Bring clothing layers because the wind can be very chilly on top. Hunters use this area during hunting season. The lower part of the trail is used by snowshoers, winter walkers, and cross-country skiers.
Excellent trail. The book we followed said that the trail is 10.4 mi round trip with 3048 ft of elevation gain. Steepest climb is right at the beginning of the trailhead. Nice lookout spot with a bench 2.4 mi up, easy to hike to. After that, the remaining elevation gain is gradual and steady until you summit. Warning: two false summits! The top is worth it to see the other side. However, the winds were pretty heavy above tree line.