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Ptarmigan Trail (#35)

Intermediate
 4.5 (19) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A climb to the summit of Ptarmigan Mountain


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Map Key

13.2

Miles

21.3

KM

77%

Runnable

12,489' 3,807 m

High

9,116' 2,779 m

Low

3,536' 1,078 m

Up

3,536' 1,078 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers

Overview

There are two ways to access Ptarmigan Trail, one is by Angler Mountain Trail and the other is starting from the Ptarmigan Trailhead up above the highway. If you start from the Ptarmigan Trailhead it is slightly longer but beautiful nonetheless.

Runner Notes

If there is any chance of thunder and lightning do not attempt to summit Ptarmigan. Once you a get a couple miles above treeline there is nowhere to take cover.

Description

It starts with a steep climb crossing a residential road and then through a large meadow. Just before you hit the one mile mark, you'll enter into the trees and descend for about 1/4 of a mile before the powerlines. Cross under the powerlines back into thicker forest and there you'll find the trail begins to ascend again.

After a couple of miles, you'll pass Angler Mountain Trail on your right intersecting with Ptarmigan Trail. A half mile after this junction is a bench that overlooks the Gore Range on your left. This is a nice turning around point if you want a shorter run. But, if you are ready to summit, continue on up around the next corner. This is where it starts to get steep, but the trail is still nice for running. The switchbacks start at this point, they are gradual, for the most part. Around mile 4.5 you'll arrive at treeline. Continue straight up the trail, and you'll reach an intersection with Ptarmigan Pass Trail and Ptarmigan Peak Trail. Continue straight on Ptarmigan Peak Trail. Another mile and you'll reach the summit! Now for the fun part, turn around and run back down to the car, making sure to stay left at the Angler Mountain Trail intersection.

Flora & Fauna

Many wildflowers, Pika and maybe a marmot or two towards the summit!

Shared By:

Chelsea Gribbin

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 19 votes

#504

Overall
  4.5 from 19 votes
5 Star
53%
4 Star
42%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#103

in Colorado

#504

Overall
304 Views Last Month
18,552 Since Mar 14, 2015
Intermediate

0%
0%
74%
21%
5%
0%

Photos

From the bench on Angler Mountain Trail looking south
Mar 14, 2015 near Silvert…, CO
Looking south towards Dillon Reservoir at what I just ran up.
Mar 14, 2015 near Silvert…, CO
Lovely aspen forest after the initial difficult, steep stretch of trail
Jul 19, 2015 near Silvert…, CO
Looking east over a snowfield in August - Ptarmigan Mountain Trail
Mar 14, 2015 near Silvert…, CO
The view from treeline is remarkable.
Jul 19, 2015 near Silvert…, CO
A lovely display of Rocky Mountain Columbine - our state flower.
Jul 19, 2015 near Silvert…, CO

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Minor Issues 14 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

May 1, 2021
Y M
Could not get to the peak due to the snow. We turned around shortly after the first viewpoint.
Sep 23, 2018
jt d
11.4mi
Jun 18, 2017
Joseph Mutter
11.9mi
Jun 11, 2017
Aaron Stewart
Lots of downed trees and a few snowfields 12mi