Ptarmigan Trail

MODERATE 168 reviews
#10 of 194 trails in

Ptarmigan Trail is a 3.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Silverthorne, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
961 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

hiking
3 hours ago

hiking
29 days ago

We got up to the bench lookout point and figured we were almost to the top. After a little more walking we asked someone coming down how much farther we had to go and he said we still had about 4 miles left. We decided to then turn back around because we were not prepared for 12 miles of hiking. It was a beautiful hike but the description "3.9 miles out and back" is deceiving. It's 3.9 miles out and back if you stop and turn around at the bench lookout point. Having lived in Colorado for many years the lookout point wasn't too exciting. The rest of the hike was beautiful and a really easy day hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Worth the rocky first .5 mile by a long shot

hiking
2 months ago

I'm glad I made this hike but probably won't go again. I would call it a moderate trail. It's steep at first but then levels out. There were several families with kids on the trail. Here is a summary:
Pros - beautiful views of Dillon and Silverthorne, nice wildflowers at the beginning, trail is dry and easy to follow, no problem with parking Cons - power lines, constant view of the city in front of the mountains, LOTS of felled trees

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful early season hike ((6/2) with abundant wildflowers and dry trail. Steep and rocky gave way to softer trail within the forest. Spectacular views over Lake Dillon, Buffalo Mt and the Gore Range.
Hike is a bit tricky past the log bench viewpoint as there are many downed trees and several lie across the trail. (I would not recommend this hike on a windy day in case some of these dead trees toppled over!)

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this 5/27. Absolutely beautiful and being a holiday weekend, not terribly crowded. Spectacular views. Tried to hike to the top of Ptarmigan Peak but hit some snow banks about 4.1 miles in that I wasn’t in the mood to navigate. First section is steep and rocky as others have mentioned. Look for the Ptarmigan! He can be mean though and will chase you. I suspect a nest was close to the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a beautiful spring hike. There is definitely a bench just after the second stream crossing. It is a good place to to take a break and take in the view of Lake Dillon. This hike provides spectacular views of Silverthorne, Lake Dillon and the snow-capped peaks. It was a special treat to view the many spring wildflowers.

hiking
3 months ago

Overall a nice hike, however, others spoke of a bench at the midpoint around 2 miles into the hike. I had no such luck finding this bench. My girlfriend and I both used our apple watches to track the distance. We walked to about 2.5 miles then decided to turn around. So it says its a 3.9 miles hike but the trail goes for much longer if you want to keep going. Also, there is a sign at the trailhead that says the trail goes on for 6.2 miles. Alltrails says the elevation gain is 961 feet, our watches said it was 1027 feet.

We hiked the trail in early May and it was quite snowy. We had spikes but didn't need them, snowshoes might be needed if you decide it keep hiking past the 2 mile mark. I would recommend having waterproof hiking boots though. So who knows the real distance of this trail. The area is beautiful with amazing views, and there was only a few other people hiking which was nice. It seems like every time I hike in Colorado I see 100+ other people. Sometimes its nice to listen to nature without everyone stomping though.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice hike with great views of lake Dillon. Definitely can hear the I-70 traffic for about half of it, but otherwise gorgeous hike. Muddy in spots with packed snow, yaktrax were very helpful. Very steep the first half a mile before it mellows out. A lot of trees knocked over into the trail sporadically so had to make our way around that.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful quick hike! We did it in March and probably should have worn yaktrax. I definitely will do it again!

7 months ago

In the beginning it looks rough, keep going. It mellows out and has some amazing views. I hiked this leisurely in four and a half hours with a nice break at the final view at the top.

hiking
9 months ago

The first half mile had me wondering if this was going to be worth it. It definitely was. The views along the way are amazing.

hiking
9 months ago

Went up for a quick sunset and was happy with the views. Didn’t have to hike far to get a great view of the valley.

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail! It starts out in an incredible stand of Aspens that were at the height of their fall colors. Throughout the hike the trees were amazing. We went the day after a 12" snow, so the trail was a bit soupy and there were a lot of downed trees. We are from the Midwest, so we haven't seen the aspens in their fall colors before, and this trail was an amazing indoctrination!

hiking
10 months ago

Up to the bench/overlook and back is a good quick hike, took us around 2 hours at a relaxed pace. Lots of aspens so it was a great fall hike. Like everyone says the first section is steep enough to get the heart rate up even if youre acclimated, but the pain is over quickly and the trail snakes in and out of the woods for some nice shade and leaf peepin' opportunities.

hiking
11 months ago

The first half mile or so is pretty intense but after that it definitely flattens out. This would be a great hike to do in late Sept or October because there are a lot of aspens on trail.

hiking
11 months ago

Less dangerous than mountain biking, amirite Ahmed?? Very difficult start for the .5-1 mile with steep incline but after that you have great tree cover and impressive views. I'd recommend to inexperienced hikers that are looking for a relative quick hike but a bit of a challenge. Keep going past the listed marker on the AllTrails map to get a better view a .5 mile or so higher up the trail.

hiking
11 months ago

Ok. So the first .5 - 1 mile, you'll wonder what the hell you got yourself into: It is a steep, quick climb and rocky to boot. Get past that, and you're in the forest on a level, comfortable dirt trail. You can catch glimpses of the city and mountain views between the trees. Around 2.5 miles you'll find a gorgeous outlook where you can stop, catch your breath, and have some water. I went 3 miles up and didn't reach the peak. I'm hoping I can go back and see the view from the top.

hiking
11 months ago

We didn't make it all the way to the top because we were only planning a 6 mile hike round trip (thanks to other's advice). We know it is longer than a 6.3 mile round trip (not 4), but not sure how much longer..? Anyway, beautiful view overlooking silver Thorne and lake Dillion basically the whole hike. The first .5 miles in is all uphill, and ugly. Get past the neighborhood part of the hike and your golden! Definitely returning in the fall to finish this one up.

hiking
Tuesday, August 08, 2017

This hike was great. It had a moderate incline so it wasn't too strenuous at any point, but it was long enough to still get a good workout (the trailhead said 6.1 miles). Beautiful views and wildflowers all along the way. I could t stop taking photos. Nice and shady for a hot day, though was even a bit chilly on a cloudier day. Good for families.

hiking
Friday, August 04, 2017

Was nice. Good views of the Ten Mile Range and Silverthorne. The first half mile is up, but not steep.
Two cautionary notes though,
1) The trail is poorly marked once you leave the parking lot. Just stay on the most heavily used path and ignore everything else.
2) Dog people: Bring enough water for your dogs and yourself. There are two small streams at about the 2mi point, but dry otherwise.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I am not a fan of his trail. The beginning is simply a climb under the sun. I do have to say that the views are amazing of Dillon Lake.

hiking
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Easily accessible, steep and close to the road at the start. Once you get away from that very nice, easy trail. Made it about 2.5 miles to an overlook with a bench. However the trail continues and spoke with one woman who summited Ptarmigan.

hiking
Sunday, July 16, 2017

Very steep start but opened up on meadow and woods. Lovely views!

hiking
Sunday, July 16, 2017

First .5 mile steep and exposed but remainder of trail features aspen groves and great views.

hiking
Friday, July 14, 2017

Great hike, excellent views, and very dog friendly! The beginning was on the steeper side, but plateaued to a beautiful walk through aspen and pine forests with outstanding views of the reservoir and surrounding mountains. A couple of mountain streams with short climbs after provided some variability to the trail.

hiking
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Beautiful views. Keep going to the Pass makes it better, but more difficult.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Super pretty. Note the hike ends at the intersection of another hike. I ended up going too far. Lol.

hiking
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Nice views of the reservoir as you hike up. First part is a little steep but then flattens out. Couple of small stream crossings, perfect for the pups.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Old trusty. Always a nice hike with the dog.

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