- American Basin, alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/american-basin-trail: Located near Lake City, American Basin is one of the more photographed places in the state with its landscape of wildflowers that peak in mid-July. Gambol by the larkspur, lupine, monkshood and native columbine, and sit for a spell by the waterfalls.
- Arthur's Rock, alltrails.com/trail/us/ colorado/arthurs-rock: West of Fort Collins is Lory State Park, home of Arthur's Rock, a moderate trail through meadows full of lupine wildflowers. June is the best time to find more than 80 varieties of flowers. And what loves flowers? Butterflies. About 100 species have been recorded at this spot.
- Blue Lake, everytrail.com/guide/blue-lake: Track down almost 100 wildflowers along the Blue Lake trail in Roosevelt National Forest north of Nederland. In addition to the larkspur, fireweed, geranium, goldenrod and paintbrush, the area is rich with water and wildlife. Peak bloom is June through August.
- Crested Butte, crestedbuttewildflower festival.com: This town has been honored as the "Wildflower Capital of Colorado," and folks created the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival (July 7-13) to celebrate. Stop by the town's Chamber of Commerce to get the latest info on the best hikes to see wildflowers.
- Spruce Mountain Open Space, bit.ly/SAWk8Y: The 5.5-mile loop trail between Palmer Lake and Larkspur is good for all skill levels of hikers and offers fields of colorful wildflowers. Watch out for bee balm, aster, butter-and-eggs and many other varieties. Also, take in wonderful views of Pikes Peak at Windy Point.
Jennifer Mulson, The Gazette