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Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness




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General Information

Description - Designated as wilderness in 1993, Ptarmigan Peak totals 13,175 acres. Ptarmigan Peak is composed of lower elevation ecosystems of lodgepole pine and piñon juniper, as well as, spruce-fir and alpine tundra forests. Elevations range from 8,800 to 12,757 feet. There are many constructed trails available for travel through this rugged terrain, which offers moderate to difficult hikes.

Attractions - "IN WILDNESS IS THE PRESERVATION OF THE WORLD." Henry David Thoreau

Designated as wilderness in 1993, Ptarmigan Peak totals 13,175 acres. Ptarmigan Peak is composed of lower elevation ecosystems of lodgepole pine and piñon juniper, as well as, spruce-fir and alpine tundra forests. Elevations range from 8,800 to 12,757 feet. There are many constructed trails available for travel through this rugged terrain, which offers moderate to difficult hikes.

Backpacking, hiking, and horseback riding are the primary recreation activities in the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness. Motorized and mechanized vehicles and equipment are not permitted within any wilderness boundaries. The following U.S.G.S. Quad (7 1/2 minute series) maps cover different portions of the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness: Dillon, Loveland Pass and Ute Peak. They can be purchased at district offices or outdoor recreation shops.

"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life." John Muir

Recreation - Backpacking, hiking, and horseback riding are the primary recreation activities in the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness. Motorized and mechanized vehicles and equipment are not permitted within any wilderness boundaries. The following U.S.G.S. Quad (7 1/2 minute series) maps cover different portions of the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness: Dillon, Loveland Pass and Ute Peak. They can be purchased at district offices or outdoor recreation shops.

"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life." John Muir

Climate - Weather patterns change quickly. Warm sunny days can turn into powerful electrical storms. Temperatures below freezing and snowfall can occur any month of the year. Be prepared for snow even in August!
Afternoon thunderstorms often form in the summer. In case of lightning, move down from high ground to below tree line. Avoid ridge tops and open meadows. Think ahead and get to safe areas before the storm hits.

Location - Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness is located in the Williams Fork mountains of north central Colorado, directly north of Silverthorne. The southeastern boundary of the wilderness is near Interstate 70 west of the Eisenhower Tunnel.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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More Information

Contact Information:
Dillon Ranger District, 680 River Parkway, P.O. Box 620 , Silverthorne, CO, 80498, Phone: 970-468-5400

Additional Information:
Colorado Wilderness Areas - Some of the most spectacular terrain in Colorado is preserved within Colorado's extensive system of Wilderness Areas.
Dillon Area - Dillon is located in Summit County, Colorado. Dillon is approximately 70 miles west of Denver, just west of the Eisenhower Tunnel and the Continental Divide.
Dillon Ranger District - The Dillon Ranger District includes much of Summit County, Colorado; the area surrounding Silverthorne, Dillon, and Breckenridge. The district lies along the western side of the Continental Divide.
Summit County Area - Summit County, Colorado is a recreational mecca that includes the area surrounding Silverthorne, Dillon, Frisco and Breckenridge. Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapaho Basin and Copper Mountain ski areas are located in this area.

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