Ptarmigan Lake Trail is a 8.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Swiftcurrent, Montana that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until September.

8.6 miles
1,896 feet
Out & Back



nature trips






wild flowers



no dogs

1 month ago

Did this hike today (including the tunnel). The views are spectacular all the way up. Not very challenging to the lake, some easy switchbacks take you up to the tunnel (to be closed in 2 days!). Saw some deer, mountain goats and big horn sheep. Amazing scenery makes this hike one of my favourites!!

2 months ago

Moderate to hard. Amazing scenery. Lake is nothing special but it is worth the extra effort to get to the tunnel. Views overlooking Elizabeth Lake are absolutely amazing. Even spotted a mom and 2 cubs (grizzly) on the way back.

3 months ago

Did this beauty yesterday July 28th 2018! Perfect hike if you want a bit of a challenge. wouldn't rate it difficult but it definitely gets your heart rate going:) The Tunnel is really something! The weather was perfect and we even spotted a mama grizzly and her two cubs at a safe but perfect viewing distance on the way down:)

4 months ago

Excellent hike like everything in glacier. Nicely wooded scene opens into an expansive meadow near alpine only to be finished off by the actual tunnel following a few switchbacks behind the lake. Easy directions to get to the trailhead. Would suggest doing iceberg lake on the same day since they share the same trail.

4 months ago

Cool hike with a nice view but went in mid June and it was far too snowy to reach the tunnel :( the lake is cool but not as cool as iceberg.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

WOW! That’s all!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Hike was beautiful, certainly not difficult. Snow covered Switchbacks to the tunnel were moderate at best, even with no poles. Snowstorm blew in and could not see hidden valley.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Incredible trail to the tunnel...Don't stop at the lake, keep hiking up the incredibly challenging switchbacks to the tunnel at the top. The hidden valley on the other side of the tunnel is amazing!!! This is a long hike, take plenty of water and spend time enjoying the hidden valley. If you do this hike you will have "bragging rights" for life as a hiker

Saturday, August 26, 2017

For the last 20 years I have tried to hike the tunnel but each time it got closed due to bears. I wish I could have hiked this 20 years younger when I was a bad a--. It is a very hard hike but oh so worth the pain.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

We went in early July. The wildflowers were in bloom. Every where I looked, it was a riot of color. The hike had a few challenging spots, but heat and the elevation were the two biggest. It was bright, hot, and not much cover from the sun. Plenty of water along the route, but wear sunscreen, light clothes, a hat, and bring rehydration salts of you aren't use to hike at elevation. Loved it. Plan to go up and over next year.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Great view of the lake and a gorgeous hike. There is plenty of shade along the trail but I'd still recommend bringing sunscreen. Be prepared to walk uphill almost the entire way there. Definitely worth it though.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Lovely hike, try to head out in the morning to avoid the heat, the iceberg lake would be better if it is the beginnings of July, don't miss the ptarmigan tunnel, it is marvelous, the tunnel connected two difference of views. green trees versus red stone mountains.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Gorgeous views that include wildflowers and wildlife. The tunnel at the top is really cool as well. Be sure to bring bear spray!

Thursday, September 01, 2016

I'd say a moderate trail, the last little bit is tough uphill. Bring a fishing pole - we caught some nice trout here. Oh yeah - and bear spray

4 months ago

4 months ago

8 months ago

8 months ago

Monday, September 25, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

recorded Ptarmigan Lake Trail

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Thursday, June 30, 2016