Top of Vail Tour
ElevationAscent: 744' 227 m
Descent: -731' -223 m
High: 10,992' 3,350 m
Low: 10,318' 3,145 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 24% (14°)
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“Experience a super scenery and wildflower tour along Vail's high points.”— Nick Wilder
If you like wildflowers and great views, you're going to love Ptarmigan Loop. Contour around Ptarmigan Ridge and Ptarmigan Point (10,977 ft). The trail surface is smooth-packed dirt, so you can safely raise your eyes to admire the abundant flowers and look for late-season mushrooms. Salute the two carved wooden figures and share their views of Mt. Holy Cross, Meadow Mountain, the Gore Range, and the back bowls of Vail. As the trail ends back at the Game Creek Chair, follow signs for this trail's intersection with Grand Escape, which is past the Wildwood Chairlift nearby.
This well-marked, serene trail has off-the-charts fields of dense wildflowers in all varieties. The top half of this trail is the best, following just below Eagles Nest Ridge and affording spectacular, panoramic views of the Gore Range. Once the trail crosses the Main Vail service road, it becomes doubletrack and less aesthetic, although the views to the west are still good. After entering and exiting a few sets of trees, the trail appears to end at a service road and a nearby tubing area lift. To reach Eagles Nest and the Lionshead Gondola, take a left heading up the Main Vail service road for about 20 feet and look for signs to a doubletrack leading down past Ridge Route etc. to the gondola and Eagles Nest.
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Land Manager: USFS - White River - Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District