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Ptarmigan Lake Trail leads 3.3 miles from Cottonwood Pass Road to the lake. Users will find good fishing for native cutthroat trout in the cold waters of Ptarmigan Lake.

Ptarmigan Lake, 11 surface acres, is a popular destination for hikers and anglers. Fishing is usually excellent for native cutthroat trout in the cold waters of the lake. The lake lies above timberline so be sure to avoid it during thunderstorms.

The trail starts on Cottonwood Pass at about 10,660'. From the trailhead it climbs steadily but not steeply along the western side of Ptarmigan Creek. The trail leaves the creek after approximately 1.75 miles heading west. At about 12,000' it crosses a fork of Ptarmigan Creek. From here the lake is .25 miles away. The ending elevation of the trail is 12,132'.

Directions: From Buena Vista, Travel approximately 12.5 miles west on Cottonwood Pass Road (Highway 306) to the trailhead on the southern side of the road.

Elevation: 9,200 feet

Ending Elevation: 12,132 feet

Usage: Moderate

Difficulty: Moderate

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Pike and San Isabel National Forests, Colorado

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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