The snow is melting late, meaning wildflower season may be impacted this year in Colorado.
If temperatures heat up quickly and the tundra becomes free of snow, extra moisture will actually help deliver a spectacular display of wildflowers. According to the Colorado Native Plant Society, in the past, plants that typically grow soon after snowmelt is gone will likely grow rapidly despite the delayed start. Dominant plants are also more likely to have better blooms this season, potentially reducing plant diversity in the high-alpine by as much as 50%.
In some plant species, lingering deep snowmelt can also result in bigger blooms with more flowers of a given species, including the common larkspur, according to University of Colorado Boulder.
Ultimately, Mother Nature will decide.
While you may not be seeing a lot of color yet above 8,000 feet, many hikers are starting to find colorful blooms in other parts of the state, especially at lower elevations. For the best viewing opportunities, we recommend planning wildflower hikes around early to mid-July.
The peak of Colorado’s alpine wildflower season typically ranges from July to August, according to officials. For wildflower enthusiasts itching to get out and explore the colorful tundra, here are a few places where you can typically find the best blooms in Colorado.