Wildflower Season In Ouray Colorado - Best Spots for Photographers
Although wildflowers are starting to come out in the Ouray area now, the spectacular scenes with fields of color really don't show their stuff until early July. As the temperatures warm and the snow melts away, wildflowers begin their ascent up the mountain valley. Today, dandelions blanket the Magic Carpet between Ouray and Ridgway, a wonderfully beautiful sight, just whetting one's appetite for the season to come.
Some of the best wildflower viewing areas near Ouray are:
Last Dollar Road
Last Dollar Road peaks first in most any year. Incredible fields of Sunflowers blanket the area. It is a bit dryer than most of the other wild flower areas in the area, so the season is earlier. Check out this area in mid to late June for peak sunflowers.
Yankee Boy Basin
No one comes to Ouray without a trip into Yankee Boy Basin. Although more traveled than most places, the waterfalls and the incredible basin filled with Columbines (the State Flower) make this a not to miss destination. Columbines blanket the upper basin in late June and by mid-late July, are complemented with a cadre of other wildflowers including delphiniums and Queen Anne's Lace.
Black Bear Pass
Black Bear Pass has beautiful flowers as well and well worth a trip. The West Side of Black Bear Pass is one way (down only) into Telluride and the drive is trechourous. Only the most experienced 4x4 drivers should attempt this route in its entirety, but, the East Side has great wild flowers, with plenty of spots with water. One can even find herds of elephants (Elephant Ear - not shown) in some slightly marshy sections on the east side. Head up Black Bear starting the third week of July.
Imogene Basin is the highest basin in the area so it is the last area to start blooming but it can provide glimpses of Columbines well into August and vast fields of delphiniums.