Located close to Silverthorne, the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness was designated as a national wilderness area by the United States Congress in 1993. It’s currently comprised of over 12,600 acres of land, all of which is managed by the Dillon Ranger District of the United States Forest Service.
The wilderness area resides within the White River National Forest.
National Wilderness Area in Summit County
With its small land area compared to other wilderness areas in Colorado, very few maintained trails actually exist in the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness. Because of this, visitors can take advantage of the light to medium human use in order to enjoy some peace and solitude.
Despite its small size, the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness does have some unique topography which makes it an interesting visit. Among these is Ptarmigan Peak. Although it only rises to 12,498 feet, it does provide a gorgeous view of the surrounding environment. A forest comprised of lodgepole-pine, Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir can be found rising along the mountain while alpine tundra can be found in the high locations.
However, its greatest attraction is unquestionably the South Fork of the Williams Fork River that can be found at the north of the Williams Fork Mountains ridge. This extension of the Williams Fork River is responsible for the verdant rolling meadows and thriving beaver dams in the area. The lovely brooks and streams that these dams create are not only wonderful to look at, but it is also a paradise for anglers as a wide variety of trout flourish within them.
Though small compared to other Colorado wilderness areas, the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness is still a contender. If given the chance, it will leave visitors awestruck and inspired.
Season: Year round