Ptarmigan Lake - Elevation 12,147 Feet

A Popular Hike and Fishing Spot In Chaffee County (Near Buena Vista, Colorado)

Ptarmigan Lake
Ptarmigan Lake
Ptarmigan Lake is a high altitude lake in the Sawatch Range that is popular for hiking and fishing in the summer, and snowmobiling in the winter. The most common route is via the Ptarmigan Lake Trail; its trailhead is located on Chaffee County Road 306. (This road is sometimes referred to as "Cottonwood Pass Road" on maps.) According to a sign at the parking lot, the trail is 3.3 miles one way to the lake. I have visited this lake many times and on this page are photos from some of those visits.

Directions: From the Buena Vista traffic light, travel west on Main Street. Outside of town, it becomes Chaffee County Road 306. Take that road into the mountains and the trailhead is approximately 14 miles on the left.

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Ptarmigan Lake Colorado

Ptarmigan Lake, CO

Ptarmigan Lake Trail

Ptarmigan Lake

Mount Yale Colorado

On a September hike with friends from Florida, five photos of the lake and scenery.

TOP: We arrived early in the morning. Ptarmigan Lake was so peaceful and quiet.

SECOND: Chris Wasik and myself.

THIRD: Below the lake, my hiking partners look great with Turner Peak (left) and Mount Yale (right) standing tall.

FOURTH: Ptarmigan Lake with Mt. Yale peaking its head afar.

FIFTH: From the same spot as the fourth photo, a zoom-in of Mount Yale. Beautiful!

Ptarmigan Lake, CO Ptarmigan Lake, CO Another way to approach the lake is via South Cottonwood Canyon and the 4-wheel drive trail in Grassy Gulch. One summer day, my friend Steve and I did this drive and photos can be seen here.

Adjacent Photos: Two more photos of Ptarmigan Lake. In the left photo, the peak above is Jones Mountain (13,232 feet).

Ptarmigan Lake My most recent photo taken in June 2012. I was on the ridge and headed toward Gladstone Ridge. Also, a video ...

Ptarmigan Lake, CO

Ptarmigan Lake, CO

Ptarmigan Lake Colorado

During a climb of Jones Mountain, the views of the lake from way above. So pretty!

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