Our Top 5 Wildflower Hikes
When you find yourself enveloped by the high alpine meadow of Larkspur, Indian Paintbrush, Columbines, and King's Crown, it's fair to say you've appreciated a taste of alpine paradise that only occurs in a mighty short window of opportunity. There is something particularly special about wildflower season in Colorado, and something rather peaceful about watching those wildflowers dance in the mountain air breeze. The colors, the intricate shapes and details, and the simplicity of being in the high alpine surrounded by these flowers is what July and early August is all about here in Telluride. Whenever possible, we rise early or dart out of the office in the evening to reach these special places and soak up all the goodness that Mother Nature offers. We aspire to spend weekends frolicking around these meadows, before the fleeting season disappears until the next year. It's good stuff, and we have compiled a handful of our favorite wildflower hikes for you to explore as well.
1. Sneffels Highline Trail
This is an all-dayer. Clocking in around 14 miles, you'll be rewarded with beautiful flowers for miles. Start on the Jud Wiebe from north Aspen Street and after .5 miles turn left at the Mill Creek Trail sign. Proceed a few yards to the Sneffels Highline sign and turn right. You will exit the trail via the Mill Creek Waterline Trail and return to Telluride via the Jud Wiebe or the paved bike path.
2. Wasatch Trail
A personal favorite, the Wasatch Trail has some of the lushest wildflower meadows around. Start up the Bear Creek Trail and before the falls, look for a Wasatch Trail sign on the right. The trail passes through McCarron Junction and by La Junta Basin Trail and eventually connects with the Bridal Veil Falls road. Another full-day hike, this 14.2 mile loop is a show stopper for wildflowers.
3. See Forever/Wasatch Connection
If you are looking for a shorter version to get a taste of the Wasatch wildflowers, try the See Forever/Wasatch Connection. From the St. Sophia Gondola station, follow the See Forever Trail up to the Wasatch Connection, which traverses across winter's Revelation Bowl then drops into a wildflower mecca. You will merge into Bear Creek Trail, which leads you right back into town. Roughly 4.5 miles, this is great for an early morning or late afternoon jaunt.
4. Jud Wiebe
A locals' favorite, the Jud Wiebe Trail is a common "lunch-break" hike. While not particularly well-known for it's wildflowers, the Jud Wiebe is currently loaded with Asters, Bluebells, and Indian Paintbrush. Access Jud Wiebe either at the north end of Aspen Street or the north end of Oak Street. This 3-mile loop also offers sweeping views of the valley, surrounding peaks and the ski area.
5. Lake Hope
Lake Hope has the best of both worlds. In this case, it offers wildflowers and an awe-inspiring high alpine lake. To get there, drive south on Highway 145 towards Cortez. Turn left at Trout Lake, take a left on Hidden Lakes Road (No. 627) and drive to the trailhead parking area. From there, the 8-mile roundtrip trail begins in the forest to the right and switchbacks above tree line to the lake.