Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 38.78240°N / 106.34822°W
Additional Information County: Chaffee
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Elevation: 13209 ft / 4026 m
Sign the Climber's Log


NW Face From Cottonwood Pass
NW face, Point 13209 ft on the far left, seen from Cottonwood Pass

Gladstone Ridge is Colorado’s 475th highest ranked peak.

Gladstone is a 6 mile long ridgeline that sits in the Sawatch Mountains of central Colorado near the town of Buena Vista. It separates the South Cottonwood Creek Valley from the Middle Cottonwood Creek Valley. The ridgeline starts at a 12250 ft saddle at the base of Jones Mountain and heads east giving rise to several high points before dropping down to a 11300 ft saddle to the west of Sheep Mountain. West to east, the high points are as follows:

1)Point 12962 ft
2)Point 13038 ft
3)Point 13209 ft
4)Point 12661 ft
5)Point 11642 ft

I will refer to Point 13209 ft as Gladstone Ridge Peak.
South Face
South face of Point 13209 ft, Mt. Yale on the right

North Face
North Face
South Face
South Face

A road starts in the town of Buena Vista and follows the Middle Cottonwood Creek Valley to reach the 12126 ft Cottonwood Pass. The northern slopes of Gladstone Ridge Peak go down to reach the road at an elevation of 10400 ft. The peak could theoretically be climbed from this spot but I am not aware of any trails that can take you above the tree-line. A better option is to start to the northwest and follow the Ptarmigan Lake Trail to reach the 12250 ft saddle. From there, you will do a long and pleasant ridge-top hike past points 12962 ft and Point 13038 ft to reach Gladstone Ridge Peak. Alternatively, you could drive a Jeep Road up the South Cottonwood Creek Valley and Grassy Gulch to a spot near the 12250 ft saddle. Ormes’ “Guide to the Colorado Mountains” mentions a southerly approach via Jonesy Gulch.

The summit of Gladstone Ridge Peak can provide you with magnificent views of the nearby mountains. The famous Fourteener, Mt. Yale, will be in good view. To the northwest, you can see Cottonwood Pass Road snaking toward the pass. To the east portions of Arkansas River Valley and the town of Buena Vista will be visible.
SW Face
Southwestern face of Point 13209 ft

Getting There

Directions to Ptarmigan Lake Trailhead:

From the intersection of Cottonwood Pass Road (FR 306) and Route 24 (the traffic light in the town of Buena Vista), drive the cottonwood Pass Rd 14.6 miles west to the well-signed Ptarmigan Lake Trailhead (Cottonwood Pass Rd is a paved road that is closed during snow season).

Views From the Summit:

Mt. Yale
North/Mt. Yale
Turner Peak
NW/Turner Peak
Cottonwood Pass
NW/Cottonwood Pass
Jone Mountain in the middle/left
West/Jones Mountain
Morgans Gulch
SW/Morgans Gulch
Mt. Aetna
South/Mt. Aetna
Mt. Antero
SE/Mt. Antero
Mt. Princeton
East/Mt. Princeton
Sheep Mountain
NE/Sheep Mountain

Red Tape

No fees or permits for day hikes. For other regulations, see the site for San Isabel National Forest.


See the forecast for the nearby town of Buena Vista.

Ptarmigan Lake Route Pictures

Lower Forest


Lakes Area

Ptarmigan Lake & Turner Peak
Ptarmigan Lake & Turner Peak
Below Ptarmigan Lake
Point 12995 ft
Nameless Lake & Turner Peak
Turner Peak

Points 12962 ft and 13038 ft from around the lakes

Point 12962 ft
Point 12962 ft
Point 13038 ft
Point 13038 ft


The 3 high Points
Point 13038 ft
Point 13038 ft
Point 12962 ft
Point 12962 ft



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.