Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Trip Reports Ptarmigan Ridge

Trip Report

Ptarmigan Ridge — Monday, Aug. 21, 2017

North Cascades

Trip Report By

Type of Hike

Day hike

Trail Conditions

Trail in good condition


Road suitable for all vehicles


No bugs


Intermittent snow - not hard to cross

I hiked to Ptarmigan Ridge from the Heather Meadows visitor center via the Wild Goose Trail on Eclipse Day and turned it into a sort of reverse lollipop, coming back via the Chain Lakes and Herman Saddle. This is a long trip, probably something like 16 or so miles, and it felt longer with the frequent snow crossings. Very rewarding, though, especially on a bluebird day like yesterday. I hiked the ridge out to Camp Kiser. Lots of people were hanging out at Artist Point with chairs, cameras on tripods, and eclipse glasses to watch the event. It was pretty neat to see how dark it got even at only about 88% coverage. The temperature drop was noticeable on the ridge, too.

There are quite a few snow patches to cross, especially on Ptarmigan Ridge. I was able to manage all of them just fine in my trail running shoes (no microspikes), though I do wish I had brought my trekking poles for some added stability. The only crossings that were a bit dicey were the ones immediately after the Ptarmigan/Chain Lakes trail junction, pictured below. I took them slowly and passed without incident.

If you hike this or other trails with dogs, please keep them on-leash. One couple had their dog off-leash and it ran ahead of them, disturbing some mountain goats near Coleman Pinnacle. We're in these animals' homes when we're traveling in the wilderness and we ought to respect them.


Alien Dave on Ptarmigan Ridge

Many dogs off leash on Sunday too. Not a dog park.

Posted by:

Alien Dave on Aug 23, 2017 12:32 PM