Wildflower season in Colorado is a spectacular event, and one well worth planning around so you can enjoy it fully, which is why we've rounded up the 8 best wildflower hikes in Colorado to help with your game plan. They range from easily accessible and short (perfect to enjoy with the kids and a picnic lunch!) to far-flung and challenging, but utterly worth every bit of effort. Keep in mind that wildflower blooms begin in June at lower elevations, typically peak in July, and then continue on through early August in higher elevations.
This hike is a short and sweet jaunt, an easy 1.4 mile out and back, with a huge wildflower payoff. Reports of up to 50 types of wildflowers blooming along this trail make it truly special, due in part to clear cuts aimed at forest fire mitigation. The location is accessible as well; the trailhead is just off of I-70 near Frisco!
Location: Near Frisco, off I-70
Bloom Time: June to August
Trail Guide: https://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=HGR207-018
Image Source: protrails.com
This trail is super popular thanks to its impressive display of up to 100 different species of wildflowers alongside spectacular mountain vistas! This trailhead is also located just off of I-70, so it's easy to get to from the Front Range. Once there you'll enjoy a 6.8 mile out and back trail, with plenty of blue columbine in mid to late June. Late July is typically considered peak bloom time.
Location: Near Silverplume
Bloom Time: mid-June (blue columbine) to August. Peak is late July, when you can see 100 species of wildflower
Trail Guide: https://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=HGR188-040
Image Source: Vicki Devine/Flickr via onlyinyourstate.com
This is a big trail - 8 miles out and back - and every bit of it is filled with dazzling wildflower displays. It's no wonder, because this trail is located in the heart of the Wildflower Capital of Colorado, Crested Butte. This is definitely one of Colorado's premier places to wade through wildflowers!
Location: Crested Butte
Bloom Time: Late June through August. Peak is late July, when you can see 114 species of wildflower
Trail Guide: https://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=HGR207-025
Image source: travelcrestedbutte.com
Beginning at the Hessie Trailhead near Nederland, it's a 5.5 mile hike to Devil's Thumb Lake. The good news is that you don't need to make it all the way to the lake to take in a great wildflower show. At 0.85 miles you'll hit the Devil's Thumb Bypass, which is where the trail hits the South Fork of the Middle Boulder Creek. From there you'll pass through meadowland with braided streams, abundant wildflowers, and aspens. Keep going all the way to Devil's Thumb Lake if you're up for it, or just hang out and have a picnic in the wildflower filled meadow, then turn back.
Location: Near Nederland
Bloom Time: Late June through August
Trail Guide: http://www.protrails.com/trail/48/indian-peaks-wilderness-area-devils-thumb-lake
This 4.6 mile out-and-back trail is a local favorite in Breckenridge. Dogs are welcome on the trail, and the difficulty level is moderate. One thing to remember is that it's the second half of the hike where you'll see beautiful wildflowers, so don't give up and turn back early or you'll miss out!
Location: near Breckenridge
Trail Guide: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/little-french-gulch-trail
This one is a very popular (read: sometimes crowded) 5 mile loop trail near Colorado Springs, along forested hills just to the west of Garden of the Gods park. You'll climb some steep switchbacks at first then be rewarded with great views from the top. Wildflowers are abundant, and due to the lower elevation you may be able to start seeing them as early as June. Dogs and horses can also use this trail.
Location: near Colorado Springs
Trail Guide: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/palmer-trail
Image Source: Cat Gonnering via alltrails.com
This great trail, a gentle 1.4 mile loop, is easily accessible from Denver, right within Roxborough State Park. A birdwatcher's paradise that's filled with wildflowers in the spring - entering this state park truly feels like an escape. Remember to watch out for poison ivy! No dogs, horses, or pets allowed in the park.
Location: near Denver
Trail Guide: http://dayhikesneardenver.com/willow-creek-trail-roxborough-state-park/
Image courtesy of dayhikesneardenver.com
The trail leading up to this gorgeous alpine lake is arguably one of the prettiest hikes in the state. The water is a shocking shade of blue, thanks to tiny rock particles suspended in the water. This trail isn't easy - it's long and arduous, but the entire journey is lovely and you'll be rewarded with Ice Lake before you hit Island Lake. In late July you'll experience wildflowers in the meadows surrounding both lakes.
Location: near Silverton
Trail Guide: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g33646-d212550-Reviews-Island_Lake-Silverton_Colorado.html
Island Lake - image courtesy of Hank Blum Photography https://www.instagram.com/hankblumphotography/
Image source: tripadvisor.com via Jason Hatfield