Crested Butte Wildflower Guide
What comes with wintry storms, wet springs, and sun soaked summers? An array of flowers that cover the hills of Crested Butte. Obviously, we think Crested Butte is the most beautiful place on earth, but when the title, Wildflower Capital of Colorado comes with it, it’s hard to argue. Lupine, Indian Paintbrush, Columbine, Sunflowers, and about fifty other species of flowers call this valley home, and we can’t blame them.
“All things good are wild and free” – Henry David Thoreau
Please DO NOT pick wildflowers while enjoying the backcountry, here’s why:
- Less blooms next year
- Less food for animals and pollinators
- We won’t be the Wildflower Capital of Colorado if everybody does it
Crested Butte Wildflower Festival: Make the most of this amazing landscape with trail walks, photo workshops, rides, and overnight outings in a celebration of wildflowers. The celebration lasts for two weeks in July, but the events go on all summer long. The wildflower festival began in 1986 through the efforts of a few insightful Crested Butte locals. For more info: Click Here.
Click photos to view gallery
What is blooming and when? As the snow melts and the sun hits, you need to know where and when to hike to see the most colorful displays. Our friends at the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival help to keep you in the loop with this nifty chart.
This guide was created to help you choose the best Crested Butte wildflower trails within a number of categories: Trail, Location, Difficulty, Distance, Time, and Features. Sort the guide by clicking on the category in the table header. It will be continuously updated with additional trails and the latest information. All trail guides are also mobile friendly, so feel free to take some screenshots or print out the directions (there is rarely cell service on the trails):
|Trail||Area||Difficulty||Mileage from Town||Peak Season||Minutes from Town|
|Budd Trail||Slate River||1.5||Early-Middle||5|
|Lupine Trail||Slate River||2||Early-Middle||10|
|Crested Butte Mountain Resort||Mt. Crested Butte||3||Early-Late||10|
|Lower Loop||Slate River||1.5||Early-Middle||5|
|Pioneer Guest Cabins||Cement Creek||8||Early-Middle||10|
|Brush Creek Trail||Brush Creek||3||Early-Middle||10|
|Woods Walk||Slate River||0.5||Early-Middle||1|
|Whetstone - Upper Upper Loop||Brush Creek||2.7||Early-Middle||10|
|Caves Trail||Cement Creek||1.7||Early-Middle||15|
|Green Lake Trail||Town||1||Middle-Late||1|
|Walrod Gulch||Cement Creek||9||Early-Late||15|
|Oh Be Joyful||Slate River||5||Middle-Late||10|
|Meridian Lake Trail (Long Lake)||Washington Gulch||3.5||Early-Late||15|
|Daisy Pass||Slate River||4.6||Middle-Late||45|
Looking to enjoy wildflowers close to town? We’ve got 6 hikes for you that always come with some of the best flowers around: Top 6 Easy Crested Butte Hiking Trails Close to Town
The Complete Crested Butte Hiking Guide: Click Here
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Difficulty is subjective, however we incorporate a number of elements into the Crested Butte wildflower trail guide to help distinguish how strenuous each trail will be for you. This includes: total mileage, steepness, trail conditions, altitude, and elevation gain.
It’s always recommended to check the weather forecast the night before your trip. Keep in mind, much of the wildflower season here is also during the monsoon season, when afternoon thunderstorms occur like clockwork. Many trails take you above the tree line and are very exposed. Lightning is the main concern and if dark storm clouds are brewing, it’s best to head down immediately. Temperatures can fluctuate dramatically, especially with rainfall, so be prepared with proper clothing and layers. A rule of thumb is to be at your high point by noon.