Wildflower meadows are common sight in Colorado’s popular hiking locations.
Nature enthusiasts will find a bounty of wildflower meadows throughout Colorado. This western state is home to some of the country’s most picturesque hiking trails, state parks and resort towns, featuring spectacular wildflower meadows. When planning a spring or summer visit to Colorado, a wildflower-viewing hike is a must for any nature lover. Does this Spark an idea?
Golden Gate Canyon State Park
The Golden Gate Canyon, located 30 miles from Denver, Colorado, features 12,000 acres of forest, meadowland and mountains. For camping enthusiasts and hikers, the park boasts two full service campgrounds complete with tent sites and electrical hook-ups. Throughout the meadowlands, guests may hike and enjoy the abundance of wildflowers naturally grown in the park.
The Black Bear Trail is an almost three-mile trail winding through the Frazer Meadow at Golden Gate Canyon State Park, departing from the Ralston Roost Trailhead. Another ideal hiking trail for views of the Frazer Meadow is the Mule Deer Trail, according to the ProTrails website. This five mile trail features views of many native-Colorado flowers including blanket flower, Wood’s rose, paintbrush, sunflower, iris and columbine. Both trails require climbing through steep, alpine terrain. As of November 2010, Golden Gate Canyon State Park charges a daily fee of $7 for all guests with additional fees for camping ranging from $10 per night to $20 per night.
Crested Butte Wildflower Festival
Crested Butte was designated by the Colorado State Legislature as the state’s “Wildflower Capital” and is the top-pick of wildflower viewing sites, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. This mountain town hosts an annual wildflower festival each July, to offer guests an opportunity to educate themselves about the area’s native meadow flowers.
There are more than 85 posted hiking and walking trails giving Crested Butte visitors access to views of the wildflowers. The week-long festival features about 200 classes for wildflower and nature enthusiasts covering topics ranging from art to yoga. Some of the flowers growing in an around Crested Butte include paintbrush, columbine and iris.
Hessie Trail, just outside the small town of Eldora in Boulder County, Colorado, wanders through some of the region’s spectacular wildflower meadows. The trail is perfect for the wildflower enthusiast looking for an afternoon, weekend excursion, according to the Front Range Living website. This trail wanders across private land to the Roosevelt National Forest.
The majority of the trail is an easy walk, featuring footbridges crossing streams and a forest of Douglas firs. The end of the trail, inside the Roosevelt National Forest, becomes steeper and more treacherous. Throughout all portions of the trial, walkers have the chance to view a wide array of wildflowers including yellow stonecrop, purple and white monkshood, purple sub-alpine daisies, white daisies, blanket flower and white and pink gilia.
To find the Hessie Trail, take the Peak to Peak Highway south from Nederland to Eldora. Follow signs to the Eldora Ski Area and follow the road until the pavement end. Follow the gravel road one mile to Hessie to locate the parking area at the Hessie Trailhead, recommends the Summit Post website.