Tuesday, July 21, 2015

5 Great Wildflower Locations in Colorado

5 of the best wildflower locations in colorado flag

Summer is wildflower season in the Rocky Mountains.  The snow melts and the hills come alive with color making for a photographer's paradise.  Nothing seems to compliment a stunning mountain backdrop better than a foreground of fiery blossoms.  There are many locations that are known for their abundance of budding beauties, but the areas listed below are ones that stand out in my experience:

1. Boulder Flatirons

Yellow wildflowers and the Boulder Flatirons in springtime with moon, Colorado

The entire area surrounding the Flatirons is a great spot in the springtime to find some color. The flat plains of the Front Range come to an end as massive rock formations shoot out of the ground.  One of the most popular places to hike is Chautauqua Park located right on the edge of the town in Boulder.  Here, you can walk only feet away from the parking lot and find yourself in the middle of rolling hillsides full of flowers.

When to go: Late May to Early June

2. American Basin

Beautiful blue columbines in American Basin, San Juan mountains, Colorado

American Basin is a most beautiful setting in the San Juan mountain range.  Located near Lake City just off the Alpine Loop scenic byway en route to Cinnamon Pass, the basin is better known as part of the standard route that leads to one of Colorado's "easiest" 14ers, Handies Peak.  This short hike into the valley is best done at sunrise when the first rays of light hit American Peak in the background.

When to go: Mid July to Early August

3. Shrine Pass

Wildflowers at Shrine Mountain with Mt. of the Holy Cross near Vail Pass, Colorado

Shrine Pass is accessed just a couple miles off of Vail Pass on I-70.  From the pass, a short (and popular) hike up to Shrine Mountain will reward your effort with countless clusters of indian paintbrush and lupine wildflowers.  The 360 views are awesome!  From here you can frame the famous Mt. of the Holy Cross as a backdrop, or capture the whole length of the rugged Gore range to the north.

When to go: Mid July to Early August

4. Crested Butte

The town of Crested Butte is called the "wildflower capitol of Colorado." Endless hillsides of yellow mules ears and white cow parsnip are seen in every direction on a drive through town. Mt. Crested Butte and Gothic Mountain are the dominant peaks here and can best be viewed along Gothic Road just past the ski area. The Brush Creek Road is another great drive and can be extended much further if you have 4-wheel drive.

When to go: July

5. Yankee Boy Basin

 A popular 4 wheeling/hiking location just outside the unique town of Ouray, Yankee Boy Basin is one of the best ways to witness Colorado's finest scenery.  Ouray is called the "Switzerland of America".  The peaks of the Sneffels Range are arguably the most jagged in the state.  The waterfalls, wildflowers, and dramatic mountains are just breathtaking.

When to go: July/August

To view more wildflower art/photography visit: http://aaron-spong.artistwebsites.com/art/all/all/all/wildflowers

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the pictures. I haven't been to some of these places and they are now on my bucket list