Ptarmigan Trail to Cosley Lake

HARD 17 reviews
#28 of 113 trails in

Ptarmigan Trail to Cosley Lake is a 26.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near East Glacier Park, Montana that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until September.

DISTANCE
26.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
6443 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
7 months ago

Challenging and beautiful. There is a portion of the trail that is a fairly steep climb. Well worth the effort to get to the tunnel and lake. Beautiful views!

hiking
Monday, August 15, 2016

Started at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn hiked past the Ptarmigan Falls, and Ptarmigan Lake. Very beautiful trail, lots of cool people. This is a pretty difficult trail, you ascend 2,300ft. I definitely recommend this trail!

hiking
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

hiking
Thursday, March 17, 2016

It is a scenic hike. Once you take the cutoff to go to the tunnel, there is a pretty steep climb then it levels off. We hiked it in July and were not prepared for the weather. It was cold when we started in the morning and when we reached the tunnel, it was completely covered by a cloud. On the way down, it rained, thundered and hailed on us. So go prepared for all weather. It can change in a heartbeat.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Awesome!!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Great hike, saw a grizzly up close. Elevation gain is quite gradual except the final switchbacks. Not too hard at all with great views!

hiking
Monday, July 27, 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

hiking
Thursday, January 01, 2015

Monday, August 04, 2014

Second best hike I took in Glacier only to the Highline Trail. This one is tough, with three separate tough elevation gains throughout the trail to the tunnel. The last march up the switchbacks was tough but the view kept getting better, which always alleviates the pain for me. Definitely watch out for bears on this one, especially early in the morning. I had three near misses cause I left before 8 AM. Wait a little longer, it may be hot for you but it's also hot for them and they go sleepytime :) Great great great hike loved it!

hiking
Sunday, September 29, 2013

Wowza! Strenuous with little moderation. Wooo hooo! Switchback heaven OR hell depending on your perspective.

Unimaginable beauty, and a defining point would be the totally different vista when you exit the tunnel on the other side. This hike rates right up there as one of my favs because you have an immediate kick your butt elevation gain and then you have an immediate kick your butt elevation gain and THEN you have Lake Ptarmigan for a nice 'soak your feet in a cold pristine alpine lake and rinse your head wrap.' After that? Yah, the switch back with a major kick your butt elevation gain, for a total of 2500 feet. Do it!

hiking
Monday, August 26, 2013

Fantastic trail- breaks off into a Y from the Iceberg Lake Trail. It's amazing to think about how the tunnel and the trail leading up to it was built, and all the history behind it. Steep at times, but worth it to see beyond the tunnel- the views beyond are absolutely phenomenal. I felt like I had crossed into an alternate space-time continuum going from Glacier National Park into some Tolkien-esque realm of fantasy. Definitely hike down past the other end of the tunnel, truly a magical sight to see.

hiking
Monday, January 28, 2013

Stunning hike, it was our favorite hike on our backcountry trip through the north-eastern portion of Glacier. If you're day-hiking this, I highly suggest trekking the extra couple miles BEYOND the tunnel! You won't regret it!

hiking
Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Loved this hike! combined with iceberg lake for a nice, somewhat long day hike. Wonderful example of good GNP hiking

hiking
Saturday, March 24, 2012

What an amazing hike! There was a Youth Group hiking at the time we were so that made for a few more people than what is the norm. Great views, what a feeling of accomplishment since it really kicked my butt!

hiking
Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wonderful Hike! Glacier National Park is Amazing!