Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

Wildflower Season in The San Juan Mountains

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Sun, Jul 13, 2014 @02:14 PM

The High Country of Southwest Colorado is in Bloom!

alpine tundra overlooking million dollar highway red mtn (1)When people talk of the majesty of the Uncompahgres, images of a blanket of color draped across fields of green often fill our minds.
Not to say the idea of the snow capped mountain peaks of winter, or the fantastic reds and yellows of Fall aren't equally breathtaking, there is something idyllic about a cool meadow filled with a rainbow of color.
high country wildflowers.2The first glimpse of a field high above timberline, covered in flowers, with a panoramic view of the world can be mind altering. Perhaps it is the thinner air, but that wouldn't translate so clearly into photographs.
Mid July through August, the flowers begin to peak in meadows and valleys in the high country, so now is the time to jump in your four wheel drive, and visit! 

Thanks to the input from our guests, the National Forest Service and county websites, the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs has an up to date listing of where the best flowers can be found:

National Forest Service Information:


black bear pass wildflowers (1)A few of our popular viewing areas and hiking trails-

  • Hope Lake - 6 miles out and back, south of  Telluride
  • US Basin - east side of  Red Mountain Pass near Ouray
  • Lizard Head - Wilson Meadows - 5 miles out and back, trailhead at Lizard Head Pass parking lot, south of Telluride
  • Bilk Creek Upper Falls - 7 miles out and back,  trailhead is off Sunshine Mesa Road, near Telluride.
  • Bear Creek Falls - 4.5 miles out and back , south on Pine Street in Telluride
  • Lower Blue Lake - 6.6 miles out and back, trailhead at the end of Dallas Creek Road (CR 7/FR 851 ) west of Ridgway on CO 62. 
  • Wetterhorn Basin Trail from West Fork Cimarron River - 6.2 miles out and back, US 550 near Ridgway- take Owl Creek Pass Road,  turn right (south) on West Fork Cimarron Rd (FR 860)   
  • Copper Creek - trailhead north of Crested Butte and Gothic off (FR 317)
  • Rustlers Gulch - trailhead north of Crested Butte and Gothic off (FR 317) 
  • Oh-Be Joyful Trail (#836) - off  FR 754 from CR 734, north of Crested Butte  
flowersHere are a few of our more popular 4 wheel drive routes:
  • Yankee Boy Basin
  • Ophir Pass
  • Imogene
  • Black Bear Pass
  • Cinnamon Pass
  • American Basin
A more personal point of view is provided to us by the marvelous folks at the Silverton Chamber:
silverjack owlcreekJuly 11th, 2014: In and Around Prospect GulchBelow Timberline
  • Arnica: Broad leaf and Heart Leaf are peaking
  • Avens: Very Prevalent & Pretty!
  • Columbine: Past Prime
  • Jacob’s Ladder: Very Prevalent
  • Paintbrush: Barely Started
Above Timberline
  • high country wildflowers.2Bluebells: Just Starting to Peak
  • Larkspur: Just Starting to Peak
  • Lovage: Peaking
  • Old Main of the Mountain: Peaking
  • Sky Pilot: Beautiful and Blooming
  • Yarrow: Peaking
According to guests, the flowers up at Yankee Boy are not quite at peak, so perhaps in the next week or two, they will be at full peak.
Summer is in full swing in the rest of the world, but when you travel to 7800 feet and above, it is a cool breath of fresh air. Once the sun begins to set, and stars dot the clear skies, nothing quite compares to a long soak in the soothing waters of our four natural hot spring tbs at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, truly an oasis from the rest of the world!
Jeeping, Wildflowers, Ouray, Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs

Tags: colorado wildflower update, scenic drives, southwest colorado, 4WD, san juan mountains, box canyon lodge & hot springs