Breeds at elevations of 1,219-1,542 m in Alaska (Weeden 1959). This species inhabits subalpine and alpine habitats including rocky unvegetated areas, rockslides, alpine meadows, krummholtz, logged and burned subalpine forests, screes, and lake and stream shores (Campbell et al. 1990). Will winter in willow dominated basins where snow accumulates and in areas with willow-sedge marsh, hairgrass meadows, sedge-grass wet meadows, and krummholtz (Braun et al. 1976).
Braun, C. E., R. W. Hoffman, and G. E. Rogers. 1976. Wintering areas and winter ecology of White- tailed Ptarmigan in Colorado. Colo. Div. Wildl. Spec. Rep. No. 38.
Campbell, R. W., N. K. Dawe, I. McTaggart-Cowan, J. M. Cooper, G. W. Kaiser, and M. C. E. McNall. 1990. The Birds of British Columbia. Vol. 1 and 2, Nonpasserines. UBC Press, Vancouver, B.C.
Weeden, R. B. 1959. The ecology and distribution of ptarmigan in western North America. Ph.D. thesis, Univ. British Columbia, Vancouver.