Loveland Pass (Summit side)
This high, windswept, spectacularly scenic pass over the Continental Divide is accessible by road year-round, making it one of the few places to look for White-tailed Ptarmigan in winter and spring, when they sport their all-white plumage. However, ptarmigan are well-camouflaged and difficult to spot at all seasons. Finding one may take hours of strenuous hiking at extremely high altitude – or, if you’re very lucky, they might be right next to your car when you pull up. Brown-capped Rosy-Finch is possible near the pass, but not common. Keep an eye out for Yellow-bellied Marmots and, in rocky areas, pika.
Habitat: Tundra, Krummholz
Directions: From Interstate 70, take Loveland Pass Exit 216. Drive south over Loveland Pass on Highway 6, stopping at the top, which is the Continental Divide. The best opportunities for seeing ptarmigan are on the north side of the road.
Delorme: 38 C3
Roads of Colorado: 71 D2
Dates of Access: Open all year
Ownership: US Forest Service
Restrictions: Hiking can be a hazardous activity; bring raingear and water, and avoid thunderstorms
Parking: Paved parking lot
Lodging: Hotels in Silverthorne or Dillon
Handicapped Access: Viewing from car