Wildflower season is around the corner! In celebration, we have created a small wildflower guide to help you when you’re out on the trails. Whether you’re hiking or biking, you are sure to run into these beauties all around Snowmass. Stop, take a picture and tag us #Snowmass or @Snowmass!
Where to find them: Snowmass has 80+ miles of trails, for hiking and biking alike! You are sure to find the below wildflowers, among many, many more along these trails. For the best wildflower viewing, check out Rim Trail South, Connector Trail and Ditch Trail. For more trails, head over to HikeSnowmass.com.
Alpine Sunflower (Tetraneuris grandiflora, Rydbergia grandiflora) – This wildflower is native to high elevations in the Rocky Mountains of the United States, in the states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. It is found most often above tree line in these five states and grows best where the summers are cool and dry. A unique characteristic of this flower: it does not follow the sun from east to west, rather it only faces east for protection, an adaptation it developed from Rocky Mountain storms rolling in from the west in the afternoon. Bloom time: May, June, July.
Indian Paintbrush Wildflower (Castilleja) – This wildflower is found in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, and is most often found in gravely soils. Interestingly enough, the flower’s roots grow until they touch another plant’s roots, then begins to take nutrients from that plant, slowly killing it to make more room for itself! Bloom time: March, April, May, June, July, August, September.
Elephant flowers (Pedicularis groenlandica) – Elephant flowers are found in the Rocky Mountains and the surrounding states. They thrive in cold and wet conditions, such as snowmelt conditions at the end of winter season, which makes it one of the earliest wildflowers to bloom. Bloom time: June, July and August.
Featherleaf fleabane (Erigeron pinnatisectus) – This wildflower is blue early on in its bloom before turning purple later in its bloom. The plant typically grows on buffs, ledges, and steep slopes. It is native to the Rocky Mountains and other nearby mountain ranges of Western Canada and the Western United States. Bloom time: June, July and August.