Ptarmigan Lake Trail

  

Ptarmigan Lake

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

Area Amenities: Toilets
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Best Season: Summer and Fall
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: Camping is not permitted at the trailhead. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on this trail.
Closest Towns: Buena Vista, CO
Water: No
Restroom: Yes
Operated By: Salida Ranger District

General Information

Accessibility:

The restroom at the Ptarmigan Lake trailhead is not universally accessible.


Directions:

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:

Parking is available for 8-10 vehicles.


Activities


Hiking

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Day Hiking

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.

Status: Open
Difficulty Level: Easy

Backpacking

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.

Status: Open

Nature Viewing

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Amenities

Toilets
Areas & Activities

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
3.5 miles

  Latitude : 
38.804361

  Longitude : 
-106.374306

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/psicc/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=12691&actid=50