Ptarmigan Lake Trail

Length of Hike: 6.4 miles RT

Difficulty: Difficult

This hike is an incredible journey to a high mountain lake (12,160 ft), located 3.2 miles from the parking lot. It is popular for hiking and fishing in the summer. In the winter, this trail is utilized by snowmobiles.
Ptarmigan is the main attraction, so be sure to make it all the way there! A few hundred yards below Ptarmigan, sit two beautiful mountain lakes that do their best to fool you into thinking you’ve made it to the main event. Ptarmigan Lake is above tree line – large elk and mountain goats have been spotted in this area. Continue on up the trail to the base of Jones Mountain (13,221 ft) for spectacular views of Ptarmigan Lake and Mt. Yale (14,200 ft).



Directions to Ptarmigan Lake:

This trail is 14.5 miles west of Buena Vista on CR 306 turning left into trailhead parking lot. (30-minute drive time from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort)
From the resort, CR 321 will take you up the hill and intersect with CR 306 just after Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Turn left on CR 306 – you will find the parking area on the left side of the road.

10 Hiking Essentials

  1. Water (1.5 Liters per person per 5-6 hours)
  2. Snacks (Beef Jerky, nuts, power bar)
  3. Navigation (map and compass and/or GPS)
  4. Sunscreen
  5. Extra clothing (hat, socks, gloves)
  6. First aid supplies
  7. Light (headlamp or flashlight)
  8. Fire starter and matches/lighter
  9. CD Rom or mirror, whistle, mosquito repellant
  10. Emergency shelter (Biffy Bag)



*****Please Remember*****

You are starting your adventure at roughly 8,000ft.

You are likely going to an even higher altitude – hydration is key.

Water, Water, Water!

This activity is an extreme test of a person’s physical and mental limits and carries with it the potential for property loss, serious injury, and even death.  The risks include, but not limited to:  actions of other people, lack of hydration, weather, and/or other natural conditions.  Princeton Holdings, LLC DBA Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort is not liable for any injury, property loss, damage, death, etc. occurring due to any activity outlined by any information sheet provided by the property.  Guests are participating in these activities on their own merit and assume all liability, with no liability to Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort or its agents.


Surrounding Towns

Buena Vista, Colorado

Buena Vista, Colorado

Buena Vista, Colorado is just 9 miles from Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort. This unique mountain town is located on the Arkansas River. There are many shopping opportunities along with restaurants, a brewery and a distillery. LEARN MORE

Salida, Colorado

Salida, Colorado is 21 miles from the resort. This is Colorado’s largest National Historic District. Dine on the banks of the Arkansas River and explore the many art galleries in this historic downtown. This area was named Colorado’s first Creative Arts District. LEARN MORE


Call: 719-395-2447