OverviewRank: Ptarmigan Hill is Colorado’s 1229th highest ranked peak
Prominence: 378 ft
Ptarmigan Hill from Wilder Gulch
Ptarmigan Hill sits between Route 24 and I-70 near Vail Pass. A couple of four wheel drive roads start on Route 24 and go up two different drainages to reach the 11765 ft Ptarmigan Pass which sits directly to the east of Ptarmigan Hill. Approaching Ptarmigan Hill via these roads obviously involves much four wheel driving and little hiking. A good hiking option is to start at Vail Pass and hike a trail up the beautiful Wilder Gulch to reach Ptarmigan Pass.
From the summit of Ptarmigan Hill, you will have great views of the peaks of the Gore and Tenmile Mountain Ranges. Mount of the Holy Cross and a portion of I-70 will also be visible.
Getting ThereDrive I-70 to Exit 190 at Vail Pass. Parking available on the west side of the highway (Roughly 100 miles west of downtown Denver).
Wilder Gulch Route
All distances are per my GPS
Go to the south side of the parking area and follow a trail south parallel but at a distance from I-70. You will have good views of the peaks of the Tenmile Range. Pacific Peak will appear as a prominent pointy mountain. After 0.75 miles you will reach a signed junction with Wilder Gulch Trail (you could reach Wilder Gulch trail via the bike trail as well. From the parking area follow the bike trail 0.85 miles south down to 10400 ft until you see the sign for Wilder Gulch Trail which goes under a bridge on I-70).
Turn right (SW) onto Wilder Gulch Trail. Ptarmigan Hill will come to view at the end of the gulch.
Wilder Gulch is a beautiful valley with meadows and forests.
You will then reach a 11260 ft saddle and the Wearyman Creek four wheel drive road. Hike the road to go above tree-line. Ptarmigan Hill will be well visible.
You will soon reach Ptarmigan Pass. Leave the road and hike up grassy slopes to the summit.
Views from the summit:
Red TapeNo fees or permits for day hikes.
WeatherClick for forecast for the Gore Range.
Vail Pass Cam.