Are you using a screen reader? Click here to view the navigation links for this site as a bulleted list.

Partner logos: BLM, FWS, FS, NPS, University of Montana Logo
Connecting federal employees, scientists, educators, and the public with their wilderness heritage
Text size: A | A | A  [Print]

Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness

General Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Volunteer


The United States Congress designated the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness (map) in 1993 and it now has a total of 12,615 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Colorado and is managed by the Forest Service.


The Williams Fork Mountains leap up and away into Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness from just below the western entrance to the Eisenhower Tunnel on Interstate 70, virtually unnoticed in winter as skiers rush to many nearby developed ski areas. The south slope of the mountains, dominated by Ptarmigan Peak at 12,458 feet, is where you'll find the designated land. A typical lodgepole-pine forest rises to Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir and then on to alpine tundra at the highest elevations. From the boundary along the top of the mountain ridgeline, the terrain drops into the wet, lush, and lovely drainages of the South and Middle Forks of the Williams Fork Rivers. You will not find many miles of trails in this Wilderness. The Ptarmigan Peak Trail just outside Silverthorne crosses Ptarmigan Pass into the drainages to the northeast, a one-way journey of seven miles. The Ute Pass Trail follows the ridgeline boundary from Ptarmigan Pass north to Ute Peak (12,303 feet) and on to Ute Pass, a total distance of about 10 miles.

Planning to Visit the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

Give us your feedback