Hike to Ptarmigan Lake near Buena Vista

Ptarmigan Lake Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Kelley Dodge

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

Distance

6.5 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1800 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Camping, Fishing, Photography, Snowshoeing, Backpacking, Hiking

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers

Nearby Lodging

Buena Vista KOA

Buena Vista, Colorado

Salida / Mt. Shavano KOA

Salida, Colorado

Gunnison KOA

Gunnison, Colorado

Cotopaxi / Arkansas River KOA

Cotopaxi, Colorado

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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