Colorado Wildflowers: When and Where to See Them
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Colorado Wildflowers: When and Where to See Them

Wildflowers in Colorado

Wildflowers give Colorado a new boost of vibrant colors from May to August, with wildflower blooms starting at lower elevations in early May and higher elevations as early as mid-June. Here’s where and when you can find blooming wildflowers in Colorado.

Buena Vista Wildflowers

Buena Vista is the home of the Arkansas Valley which offers the vast, unique landscape of a high mountain desert. Some of the shortest and most rewarding wildflower blooming seasons throughout Colorado can be found in Buena Vista. Here, the Browns Canyon National Monument is home to soft, loamy soil, allowing incredible wildflowers to prospect to their full glory. The Browns Canyon National Monument has some sensational blooms found on the prickly pear cactus with beautiful colors ranging from vibrant yellows to extravagant magentas. These flowers bloom from April through June in the rugged terrain of the Arkansas Valley, benefiting from snowmelt that brings down much-needed nutrients to the soil allowing for exponential growth. If you’re near Buena Vista looking to see the wildflowers and have time for an extended trip, we recommend visiting one of Colorado’s well-known ghost towns, St. Elmo, located twenty miles southwest of Buena Vista for more Colorado wildflower viewing opportunities.

Pink prickly pear wildflower

Pink Prickly Pear | Image courtesy of

Idaho Springs Wildflowers

The quaint, historic gold mining community of Idaho Springs, Colorado, shares a unique connection between the world’s Industrial Revolution and the natural flora found near the base of Mount Evans. The best places to see wildflowers near Idaho Springs are Saint Mary’s Glacier or The Herman Gulch Trail. This little stretch of mountains produces beautiful wildflowers such as the ever-elusive Columbine; the perennial bluebells that love to call the high mountain gulches of Colorado home. Columbine blooming occurs only when the stars align and perfect conditions are met, but their awe-inspiring tones of red, blue, and white make them a perfect candidate for the Colorado state wildflower. These Colorado wildflowers near Denver tend to bloom from May through mid-July. 

Columbine wildflowers blooming on a mountain in Colorado

Columbine wildflowers blooming in Colorado | Image courtesy of

Kremmling Wildflowers

The Gore Range near Kremmling, Colorado, is filled with meadows that make the ideal home for a wide range of wildflowers like Indian Paintbrush, Columbine, Fireweed, and the one-of-a-kind Elephant’s Head. Fireweed is not a weed at all, it gets its name from how quickly it can sprout from scarred lands right after wildfires. The Fireweed will bloom a very warm magenta hue from June until September in Colorado. Elephant’s Head embodies an elephant when seen from the right angle. They bloom from June into August and they are certainly worth an extended hike to see.

Elephant's Head wildflower blooming in Colorado

Elephant’s Head wildflower blooming in Colorado | Image courtesy of

However tempting, please avoid picking any wildflower you see on your hikes through Colorado. Admire wildflowers from a distance or take a photo that will surely last a lifetime. Rafting and ziplining adventures are an excellent way to get a bird’s eye view of wildflowers in the Spring. These trips are available in Buena Vista, Idaho Springs, and Kremmling with AVA Rafting & Zipline.