Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 39.49473°N / 106.2598°W
Additional Information County: Summit/Eagle
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 12143 ft / 3701 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Rank: 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 There

Drive 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

Vail Pass
10650 ft
zero miles
Wilder Gulch Trail
10600 ft
0.75 miles
11260 ft
2.20 miles
Ptarmigan Pass
11765 ft
0.80 miles
12143 ft
0.45 miles
4.2 miles

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).

Pacific Peak
Pacific Peak

Turn right (SW) onto Wilder Gulch Trail. Ptarmigan Hill will come to view at the end of the gulch.

Ptarmigan Hill
Ptarmigan Hill from Wilder Gulch

Wilder Gulch is a beautiful valley with meadows and forests.

Peak 1 & 2 from Wilder Gulch
Peak 1 & Peak 2 (Tenmile Peak) from Wilder Gulch
Wilder Gulch
Wilder Gulch
Wilder Gulch
Wilder Gulch
Wilder Gulch
Wilder Gulch
Peak 4 from Wilder Gulch
Peak 4 from Wilder Gulch
Wilder Gulch
Wilder Gulch

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.

Near Tree-line
Tree-line on Wearyman Road
Ptarmigan Hill
Ptarmigan Hill
On Wearyman Rd.
Wearyman Road

You will soon reach Ptarmigan Pass. Leave the road and hike up grassy slopes to the summit.

Ptarmigan Hill from Ptarmigan Pass
Ptarmigan Hill from Pass

Views from the summit:

Mt. of the Holy Cross
Mt. of the Holy Cross
Ptarmigan Pass & Tenmile Range
Ptarmigan Pass+Tenmile
Peaks 1 to 5
Peaks 1 to 5
Gore Range
Uneva Peak & I-70
Uneva & I-70
Gore Range
Gore Range

Red Tape

No fees or permits for day hikes.


Click for forecast for the Gore Range.

Vail Pass Cam.