Where to See Wildflowers in Colorado Ski Country

Submitted by Andy on Mon, 06/25/2018 - 11:58

Each summer in Colorado, the mountains come alive with millions of vibrant, colorful wildflowers that sway in the breeze and brighten up the landscape. With wildflower season quickly approaching, we've compiled the best places to gaze upon wildflowers at Colorado's ski resorts. Whether you're adventuring by car, on bike or on foot, Colorado Ski Country offers dozens of ways to see these breathtaking wildflowers across the state. 

A Basin Wildflowers under Norway
Wildflowers udner the Norway lift at Arapahoe Basin. 

Arapahoe Basin

For the best wildflower viewing at Arapahoe Basin, take the Black Mountain Express lift to mid-mountain and hike around the Argentine-North Fork Trail for unparalleled views of the Continental Divide and colorful Colorado wildflowers blanketing the slopes. While you’re there, enjoy lunch at Black Mountain Lodge, work up a sweat with self-powered mountain biking or play a round of disc golf on A-Basin’s par 3 nine-hole course.


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Wildflowers at Aspen Snowmass. Photo by Matt Power. 

Aspen Snowmass

Of all the sights to see at Snowmass, few are as breathtaking as the annual bloom of wildflowers which occurs in July. Each year, the trail is riddled with lupine, mountain gentian, heartleaf arnica, foothills Indian paintbrush and even the rare red columbine. The best Snowmass hiking trails for wildflower seekers are Rabbit Run off the popular Sierra Club Trail, Vista Trail and Snowmass Way. Learn more about wildflower season at Snowmass.


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Wildflowers at Cooper. 


Cooper is a breathtaking place to view wildflowers in bloom on the ski trails. Cooper is happy to host a variety of summer events, from weddings to private parties to business meetings.


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Wildflowers and a view of Copper Mountain. 

Copper Mountain

One of the best places to see alpine wildflowers is at Copper Mountain. Keep an eye out for the blue Colorado columbine, our state flower.


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Wildflowers at Crested Butte. Photo by Dave Kozlowski. 

Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Designated as the Wildflower Capital of Colorado, Crested Butte offers impressive wildflower viewing occurs on foot, by bike and by car.

From the comfort of your car, the best routes to view wildflowers include Washington Gulch Road, Brush Creek Road and Gothic Road. These scenic roads will offer the opportunity to enjoy majestic views and colorful arrays of flowers.

If you’re exploring on bike, Crested Butte recommends their favorite mountain bike trails to experience the awe-inspiring wildflowers including Trail #404, Meander and Lower Meander, and Lower Loop. In some places, the wildflowers will be handlebar-high.

For the best wildflowers on foot, sign up for a Guided Wildflower Hike. The guide will create a custom route that leads you through wildflowers, aspens and evergreens. Guided by the Handy Dandy Wildflower Guide, you can explore the different flora and fauna including alpine sunflowers, Indian Paintbrush and more.

The 32nd Annual Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, held July 6-15, 2018, will be another great opportunity to see the wildflowers of Crested Butte. This 10-day festival will host more than 200 offerings including hikes and walks for all speeds and stamina, photography and art workshops, birding and butterfly outings, geology and geobotany, garden tours, cooking classes and backcountry jeep tours.


Granby Ranch
Wildflowers at Granby Ranch. 

Granby Ranch

Granby Ranch offers an impressive selection of Colorado wildflowers each summer including columbines, lupine, Pasque flowers and more. Vista Ridge is a great place to stop and smell the wildflowers.


Kendall Mountain

For the best wildflower viewing at Kendall, the Kendall Mountain Trail offers a scenic one-mile loop that offers an eagle’s eye view of beaver ponds and weaves through forests and meadows. Mushrooms and wildflowers abound on this hike that’s great for families with young kids.


Powderhorn Resort

Summers on the Grand Mesa bring the state’s best wildflowers, hiking, mountain biking, fishing and more. This area of Colorado features beautiful, bright wildflowers that be enjoyed on bike or on foot at Powderhorn. 


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Wildflowers at Purgatory Resort. Photo by Scott DW Smith. 

Purgatory Resort

To see meadows of wildflowers at Purgatory, try a Free Guided Hiking tour. Guided naturalist hikes by the San Juan Mountains Association are a great way to learn about the plants, wildlife geology, ecosystems and public lands in the Purgatory Resort area.


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Wildflowers at the Yampa River. Photo by Larry Pierce. 


More than 100 varieties of wildflowers can be found across the Yampa Valley and Steamboat Resort. From the bright yellow mule’s ear to the state’s iconic columbines, you’ll find a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors and smells as you explore the trails, fields and mountains surrounding Steamboat Springs. Some of the most prolific wildflowers in the area include lupine, pink geranium, wild sweet pea, Indian paintbrush and larkspur. Wildflowers in the Yampa Valley typically peak in early to mid-July. This guide to Steamboat wildflowers will tell you when to go each season for the best viewing.


Sunlight Wildflowers credit Troy Hawks
Wildflowers at Sunlight Mountain Resort. Photo by Troy Hawks. 


Wildflower viewing peaks at 9,860-feet atop Sunlight Mountain Resort. Visitors can enjoy majestic views of Mt. Sopris and the Roaring Fork Valley, aspen groves, and abundant wildflower meadows.


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Wildflowers and a sunset at Telluride Ski Resort. Photo by Ryan Bonneau. 


Telluride offer an abundance of amazing wildflowers to marvel at in the high country. There are dozens of hiking trails in the area that offer stunning views, and Telluride Ski Resort hosts guided group hiking tours every Tuesday and Thursday from the San Sophia Nature Center from mid-June through Labor Day in September. Wildflowers you’re likely to spot on the trail include bluebells, Indian Paintbrush, Pink Elephants, Yarrow and cow parsnip.


Winter Park 170623 Scenics-8
Wildflowers at Winter Park Resort. 

Winter Park Resort

Winter Park offers great opportunities for wildflower viewing. As the snow melts, colorful wildflowers bloom including columbines, Indian paintbrushes and wild roses, among others. Take a scenic lift ride to see wildflower meadows and gorgeous views of the Continental Divide at 10,700 feet. Stop in the Lodge at Sunspot for lunch and snacks.

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