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A family of four hikes amongst wildflowers with evergreens and mountains behind them in Vail.
Two people walking on a grassy field at sunset.
View of Holy Cross from Eagles Nest

Ptarmigan Loop

1.2 miles (roundtrip)

If you’re a fan of wildflowers and stunning vistas, Ptarmigan Loop trail is a must-visit. Starting from the end of Ridge Route and the peak of the Game Creek ski lift, it winds around Ptarmigan ridge and Ptarmigan Point (at 10,977 feet).

This mostly flat loop can be hiked in either direction. Along the way enjoy breathtaking views of Mt. Holy Cross, Meadow Mountain, the Gore Range, and Vail’s back bowls.

The north end of Ptarmigan Loop has been extended to connect with the Grand Escape Trail giving you the option to complete the loop where you began (at the end of Ridge Route), or continue north along the top of the Wildwood Express chairlift, descending briefly towards town until crossing a service road and intersecting with the Grand Escape Trail.

Show Your Love for Vail Trails

Hiking in Vail goes hand in hand with caring for our pristine natural environment. Here’s how you can do your part!

Stay on the Trail

No shortcuts - going off trail compromises trail construction, kills the vegetation, increases soil erosion and may result in reduced water quality.

Pack Out Trash

Stash it until you can trash it - anything you bring with you, you must pack back out! Trash can hurt wildlife and contaminate water ways.

Dog Do's and Don'ts

Do pick up the doo – pack out all dog poop. Don’t let dogs off leash – this is to protect them from wildlife and wildlife from them.

Respect Wildlife

Give them space - observe wildlife from a distance and do not follow or approach them. Never feed animals as it can alter their behavior.

Plan Ahead

Take the trail less traveled - there are over a hundred miles of hiking trails in the Vail area! Use the trail guide to discover area trails and whenever possible ride a bike or take a FREE Town of Vail bus to the trailhead.

Dogs & Leashes

Dogs are allowed in the White River National Forest, but may not be on permitted in certain areas of Vail Resorts. Please adhere to any posted signs. We recommend that you keep your dog on a leash when you are in Vail Resort and around other forest users, other dogs, or are in bear country.