Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness

Sloped grassy knoll with Wilderness sign in foreground.

The United States Congress designated the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness (map) in 1993 and it now has a total of 12,760 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Colorado and is managed by the Forest Service.

The Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness is located north of the town of Silverthorne in the Williams Fork Mountains.  The range is dominated by Ptarmigan Peak (12,458 feet) on the southern end and Ute Peak (12,297 feet) on the northern end.  A typical lodgepole-pine forest rises to Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir and then on to alpine tundra at the highest elevations. The lower elevation slopes have beautiful Aspen groves and open sagebrush meadows.

You will not find many trails in this Wilderness and, as a result, have a better opportunity for solitude. Most of the trails have spectacular views of the Gore Range which dominates the skyline on the other side of the Blue River Valley.  One can connect the Ptarmigan Peak trail to the Ute Peak/Pass trail for an amazing one-way alpine ridgeline hike of 12 miles.

Protect this special place for the future by always using Leave No Trace techniques and following all special Wilderness restrictions including:

Camping – Wilderness appropriate campsites are previously impacted sites, at least 100 feet from trails, lakes and streams. 

Fires – Campfires need to be at least 100 feet from streams and trails. Within ¼ mile of lakes are “stove only” zones and campfires are not allowed.  Please refrain from having campfires near or above tree-line, or in areas without dead and down firewood. 

Human Waste and Trash – Poop and litter is piling up in popular destinations.  Do your part, pack out all trash (DO NOT BURN) and consider packing out your poop to prevent sanitation issues.  

Dogs – Pets are required to be on a leash to protect wildlife, other visitors experience and your privilege to have them with you.    

"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." President Lyndon B. Johnson, on the signing of the Wilderness Act of 1964

At a Glance

Usage: Medium
Restrictions: Wilderness restrictions apply
Closest Towns: Dillon, Colorado
Water: Treat all non-potable water before consuming.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Dillon Ranger District

General Information

General Notes:

Colorado’s Fourteeners

For more information about climbing Colorado’s peaks please visit the Rocky Mountain Region 14ers page.

Topo maps

Forest Service Topography Maps: These maps overlay Forest Service assets, such as roads, trails, and campgrounds, on USGS's topographic maps. They are available for download by quadrangle.

Buy maps online

National Forest Store:  Offers a full, nationwide selection of National Forest, Ranger District, Wilderness, and Specialty Maps for purchase online or by phone, fax, and mail.

Go to for additional maps and information about Wilderness.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking


Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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