Jones Mountain/Ptarmigan Lake

4.9/5 (24 reviews)
Buena Vista, Colorado (Chaffee County)
Last Updated: 05/22/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

The Cottonwood Creek drainage just west of Buena Vista is an area rich with mining history, alpine lakes, wildlife and an opportunity to travel off the beaten path in Central Colorado. The Jones Mountain/Ptarmigan Lake trail offers unique access to Ptarmigan Lake from an off-road trail and the ascent up Jones Mountain will not disappoint . You will travel to 12,500' of elevation, high on the side of the mountain with incredible views from the backside of Mount Princeton and the South Cottonwood Creek valley below. Make sure to bring your fishing gear as Ptarmigan Lake is a short hike and has a good population of Native Cutthroat trout.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.9/5 (24 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/05/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Trail is dry. Some tight switchbacks for long-wheel based vehicles. The 2 stock 4Runners and the Chevy Trail Boss scraped a little bit at the switchback that has a 1ft ledge on the inner turn coming up. Only the Chevy Trail Boss scraped at the same part coming down. Very minimum scraping - no damage. Very amazing trail for beginners who are new to off roading. Half the team I took on this trail was new to off roading and owned the 2 stock 4Runners and 1 stock Tacoma (all with 265-70R17 ATs). Fantastic view of the valley and Mineral Basin once you reach the peak. Ran this trail with a modded 4Runner (3" lift with 285 ATs), 2 stock 4Runners with 265-70R17 ATs, a stock Tacoma with 265-70R17 ATs, Chevy Trail Boss Long Bed, Stock Jeep Wrangler 4 Door with 285 ATs.
Marcus Trusty
Official Crew
27350
Status: Partially Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/22/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

More new snow is keeping the trail closed at waypoint 4.
Trail Review: Jones Mountain/Ptarmigan Lake - Marcus Trusty
Trail Review: Jones Mountain/Ptarmigan Lake - Marcus Trusty
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Marcus Trusty
Official Crew
27350
Status: Partially Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/15/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Open to almost waypoint 4 if you can handle deep snow.
Trail Review: Jones Mountain/Ptarmigan Lake - Marcus Trusty
Trail Review: Jones Mountain/Ptarmigan Lake - Marcus Trusty
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Ryan Boudreau
Official Crew
76550
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/25/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

One word... EPIC!! This trail has totally epic views. The road up is a super steep, super rough, slow slog, but it is totally worth it. I can't really describe it, you just have to see it yourself.
Trail Review: Jones Mountain/Ptarmigan Lake - Ryan Boudreau
Trail Review: Jones Mountain/Ptarmigan Lake - Ryan Boudreau
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Status: Open
Visited: 09/21/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Mineral Basin is nice but Jones is awesome! I did it with my stock 2019 TRD Off Road and had no problems. I went on a Monday hoping for minimal traffic and it worked. I was the only truck on the route, saw a few ATV's once on the way up and once on the way down. I was concerned on seeing someone on the incline one way but had no problems. Highly recommend! Had to take the obligatory photo! Fall colors are starting!
Trail Review: Jones Mountain/Ptarmigan Lake - William Raufmann
Trail Review: Jones Mountain/Ptarmigan Lake - William Raufmann
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