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

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.

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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):

TrailAreaDifficultyMileage from TownPeak SeasonMinutes from Town
Lily LakeKeblerEasy7Middle-Late15
SnodgrassSnodgrassModerate5Early-Middle15
Rec PathTownEasy0.5Early-Late1
Budd TrailSlate RiverModerate1.5Early-Middle5
Lupine TrailSlate RiverModerate2Early-Middle10
Crested Butte Mountain ResortMt. Crested ButteModerate3Early-Late10
Lower LoopSlate RiverEasy1.5Early-Middle5
Lake IrwinIrwinModerate8Middle-Late20
Pioneer Guest Cabins Cement CreekEasy8Early-Middle10
Brush Creek TrailBrush CreekEasy3 Early-Middle10
Woods WalkSlate RiverEasy0.5Early-Middle1
Whetstone - Upper Upper LoopBrush CreekModerate2.7Early-Middle10
Caves TrailCement CreekStrenuous1.7Early-Middle15
Green Lake TrailTownStrenuous1Middle-Late1
Walrod GulchCement CreekEasy9Early-Late15
Oh Be JoyfulSlate RiverModerate5Middle-Late10
Meridian Lake Trail (Long Lake)Washington GulchModerate3.5Early-Late15
401GothicStrenuous15Middle-Late20-30
Scarp RidgeIrwinStrenuous4.6Middle-Late35
Daisy PassSlate River4Very Strenuous4.6Middle-Late45

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

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.

Weather

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