Hunting for Wildflowers in Colorado
Colorado boasts more than 200 types of wildflowers that spread from the eastern plains into the Rocky Mountains. It is easy to come across at least a few wildflowers while hiking most trails sometime between late April and August.
I was thrilled the first time I discovered small patches of columbine nestled in the forest floor along the Waldo Canyon Trail off hwy 24 just west of Colorado Springs.
Mariposa lilies sprung up in sunnier spots further down the trail. Colorado Ninebark shrubs covered with clusters of tiny white flowers frequented by butterflies grew in another section.
Prickly pear cactus and yucca blooms cover many sections along the Front Range. I found these flowers near the top of the Mt. Cutler Trail in North Cheyenne Canyon southwest of Colorado Springs.
From the summit you can see Seven Falls in the distance toward the south and Colorado Springs on the east. The hike up is a moderate workout. Some people bring their kids.
The Craggs Trail along the western slope of Pikes Peak has a small open meadow dotted with wildflowers and butterflies in mid summer. I spent about 45 minutes chasing butterflies for the photos below.
Rocky Mountain National Park has patches of delicate alpine tundra flowers that take years to grow, so try to stay on rocks and gravel to keep from crushing them.
When we visited the park in July, a variety of wildflowers were growing in small sections along Trail Ridge Rd. among many other areas of the park. I found this dainty orchid (right) while hiking along a wooded stream. The flowers below were found close to the road.
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