Ptarmigan Lake Trail
Ptarmigan Lake trail travels south from the Middle Cottonwood drainage, located west of Buena Vista, CO on the road to Cottonwood Pass (County Road 306). The trail is spectacular and offers visitors one the best wildflower viewing spots during the month of July.
At a Glance
|Best Season:||Summer and Fall|
|Restrictions:||Camping is not permitted at the trailhead. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on this trail.|
|Closest Towns:||Buena Vista, CO|
|Operated By:||Salida Ranger District|
The restroom at the Ptarmigan Lake trailhead is not universally accessible.
From the stoplight in Buena Vista, travel west on County Road 306 for 14 miles to the trailhead. It is located on the left side of the road.
Parking is available for 8-10 vehicles.
The hike to Ptarmigan Lake is one of the nicest hikes around the Arkansas Valley. The trail climbs gradually from forest to alpine and ends at a beautiful alpine lake. Observant hikers might see Rocky Mountain goats near the trail. A small pond located below the lake is a great spot for a picnic or an overnight camping spot.
The wildflowers are brilliant during July and blanket the meadows along the last 1.5 miles to the lake.
The hike to Ptarmigan Lake is one of the nicest hikes around the Arkansas Valley. The trail climbs gradually from forest to alpine and ends at a beautiful alpine lake. A small pond located below the lake is a great spot for a picnic or an overnight camping spot.
Please set up your camp at least 100 feet from the lakeshore. Anglers shoud pack out all fishing line and packing materials.
This trail is especially beautiful during July when the upper meadows are alive with blooming wildflowers. Be sure to bringa camera for some gorgeous shots of rosy paintbrush and other vibrant wildflowers.