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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests > Sulphur Ranger District

Quick Facts

Ptarmigan Pass Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,220 Feet (3185.8 Meters) at jct. with South Fork Trail.
Difficulty: Moderate to More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 1,557 Feet (485.3 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,777 Feet (3671.1 Meters) at Ptarmigan Pass
Length, One-way: 3 Miles (5.0 Kilometers)
Other Maps: Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest Map
TI Topo Maps: #104 Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Loveland Pass; #108 Vail, Frisco, Dillon
Trail Number: 35
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Dillon, Loveland Pass

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The Ptarmigan Pass Trail can be accessed either up the South Fork Trail, #21, along the South Fork of the Williams Fork River, or at the south end of the Ute Peak Trail, #24, at Ptarmigan Pass. Ptarmigan Pass can also be reached from the Dillon Ranger District through the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness.

ATTRACTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS: The Ptarmigan Pass Trail is a steep 3 mile trail which connects the South Fork Trail to the end of the Ute Peak Trail. The trail is a difficult hike, especially in the beginning. Once on the Pass, access is provided north along the Williams Fork Ridge, and excellent views of the area can be seen. Elk are often seen near the trail and throughout the upper Williams Fork Valley.

Directions from Granby: Travel west on Highway 40 approximately 14 miles to County Road 3/Forest Road 139. Travel south on Road 3/139 approximately 17 miles, passing Williams Fork Reservoir, to Forest Road 138. Go south on 138 approximately 8 miles to Forest Road 142, near South Fork Campground. Follow Road 142 approximately 5 miles to the South Fork Trailhead. Travel the South Fork Trail, #21, about 4 miles south to the Ptarmigan Pass Trail junction.The Ptarmigan Pass Trail is also reached at the south end of the Ute Peak Trail, #24.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Summer through Fall (NOTE: Accessibility depends on snow depth and weather.) .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Ptarmigan Pass, South Fork, and Ute Peak trails
ICON Hiking & Walking Ptarmigan Pass, South Fork, and Ute Peak trails
ICON Horseback Riding Ptarmigan Pass, South Fork, and Ute Peak trails

Related Activities
South Fork Trail (Sulphur Ranger District) - This long loop trail is located in the Williams Fork Valley, south of Granby. It can be used to access several other area trails.

Ute Peak Trail - The Ute Peak Trail, #24, is located southwest of Granby in the Williams Fork area. The trail leads from the Williams Fork River up along Williams Fork Ridge to Ptarmigan Pass.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Grand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, 928 Grand Avenue , Grand Lake, CO, 80447, Phone: 800-531-1019


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