If the golden aspen trees are the highlight of the Colorado fall season, then the wildflowers steal the show in the Colorado summer season. Stunning petals blanket the hillsides in mid-July in the high alpine environment, while colorful blooms can be found a bit sooner as you travel closer to the Eastern Plains. There are almost a thousand unique varieties of wildflower in the Centennial State, including the white and lavender Rocky Mountain Columbine, the state flower of Colorado.

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If you’re looking for an excuse to get out and explore this summer, check out these five unique spots famous for their wildflowers.

1. Crested Butte

Crested Butte is often called, “the Colorado wildflowers capital” for its abundance of blooms above tree line. Check out the 2017 Crested Butte Wildflower Festival July 7-16, or head out on your own adventure. We suggest mountain biking the 401 Trail for gorgeous scenery and flowers. Don’t forget your camera!

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2. Roxborough State Park

Spring comes a little earlier to Colorado’s Front Range. Though the wildflowers are less abundant in this dryer ecosystem, they’re no less beautiful. Mid- to late June are you’re best bests for hunting down these elusive Front Range blooms. Take the family to Roxborough State Park for some hiking, views of the Flatirons, and the best chance to spot some Front Range wildflowers.

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3. Indian Peaks Wilderness

The Indian Peaks Wilderness just beyond Nederland is home to sharp peaks, beautiful alpine lakes, and field of wildflowers. Try the 4.1 mile Lost Lake Trail for a moderate hike with gorgeous scenery.

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4. Yankee Boy Basin

Don’t be intimidated by this out-of-the-way locale. It’s more than worth a six-hour drive from Denver to see this unparalleled scenery. While you’re up there, hike Mount Sneffels, the fourteener that sits above the basin, and enjoy the hot springs in Ouray.

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5. Alpine Scenic Byway

This 63-mile loop travels through the heart of the San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado. You’ll need a four wheel drive vehicle to make it over Engineer and Cinnamon passes, but you won’t regret the effort. This route truly displays Colorado at its finest.

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