• Activities:

    Camping, Fishing, Photography, Snowshoeing, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    6.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1800 Feet

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers

Beautiful hike to alpine lakes with great views of Mt. Yale along the way! Wild flowers are in full bloom in July.

When you begin the trail, make sure to choose the correct trailhead from the parking lot (located on the south side of the lot to the left, NOT behind the bathroom).

From there, begin a moderate climb through a shaded fir forest to the tree line. Emerge in a meadow at a pond and the lower lake, framed by towering peaks. This is a great spot for a picnic or for camping overnight (*please be sure to set up camp at least 100 feet from the lakeshore).

Many people turn back here, believing they have reached the end, but continue hiking up past the lower lake. As you gain elevation, enjoy breathtaking views of Mt. Yale and the valley below. At the top, you will reach Ptarmigan Lake, a beautiful alpine lake with a great vantage point. There are often people fishing here, so stop and take a few casts before heading back down.

This trail is dog and family friendly.

If you're looking for the Ptarmigan Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, head to Hike to Ptarmigan Lake

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Kelley Dodge

Just your average chocolate lover, literary enthusiast, and exceptionally gifted nomad.

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