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Wildflower Wonderland: Visit Pagosa Springs, Co

The location of Pagosa Springs in Southwestern Colorado lends itself to magnificent natural scenery all year, but wildflower season brings a special splash of color. From tall stalks of fireweed to the low-growing mountain avens, you’ll find an abundance of plant species blanketing the hillsides. Visit Pagosa Springs, CO, and explore our wildflower wonderland when you stay at our award-winning Pagosa Springs Hotel


The Charm of Pagosa Springs 

You can hike the trails around Pagosa Springs in any season with the right gear and be enchanted by the peaceful atmosphere and picturesque scenery of Southwestern Colorado. Our town is highlighted by an impressive backdrop of majestic mountains and tree-blanketed hills with the beautiful San Juan River flowing below. In the warmer months, colorful wildflowers bring even more beauty to the natural landscape.  

The diverse ecosystems of Colorado give way to some of the most incredible wildflowers. The snow melts from the mountaintop in spring, renewing the soil and offering an ideal environment for wildflowers. As the blooming season approaches, you’ll see a wide variety of colors and species thanks to the diverse terrain, elevation, and climates of the state. Flowers that often grow miles apart in other parts of the country can often be seen close together in the mountains, creating a vibrant rainbow of flora.  

Grab your camera and hiking boots to experience the unparalleled natural beauty that wildflower season brings to Southwestern Colorado. 

Columbine on a Rocky Mountain Trail

Colorado Hiking Trails in Bloom 

Wildflower season is the perfect time to explore the network of trails that crisscross Pagosa Springs. Whether you’re seeking family-friendly trails that the kids can enjoy or planning a challenging solo excursion, you’ll find a path adorned with stunning blooms.  

The Fourmile Falls Trail will take you on a journey through the Weminuche Wilderness, Southwestern Colorado’s mountainous nature preserve that is filled with a diversity of flora. Embark on this rewarding waterfall hike to see trails filled with wildflowers like stalks of western roseroot and colorful evening primrose.  

We also recommend visiting the San Juan National Forest on the Rainbow Hot Springs Trail, a ten-mile trail with plentiful spots for wildflowers to thrive. As you climb in elevation, you might spot the brightly-colored mule’s ear in the summer months or the blue columbine — Colorado’s state flower.  

Wildflowers are known to thrive in the waters and meadows along the seven-mile Piedra River Trail. The trail through the San Juan National Forest is home to blue columbine, Indian paintbrush, and bluebonnet. 

The six-mile Windy Pass Trail is another route that will take you on a tour of the San Juan National Forest’s wildflowers. Paintbrushes, larkspurs, and sunflowers often cluster around the trail welcoming butterflies to the area.  

For more hiking inspiration, check out this list of wildflower hiking trails in the Pagosa Springs area.  

Aspens and lupines in Colorado

What to Expect during Colorado Wildflower Season 

Wildflower season in Colorado usually lasts from spring to fall, thanks to the varied climate of the area. However, each season brings unique species and different opportunities to catch sight of colorful blooms.  

Springtime welcomes early-blooming flowers as winter fades away and snow melts off the mountains. The Colorado blue columbine makes its debut in April and quickly spreads across the state, making it an easy flower to spot. Arrowleaf balsamroot, a member of the sunflower family, begins sprouting up in clusters in early spring. As you explore, keep an eye out for the eastern pasque flower, a pale purple and white flower that grows close to the ground in early spring.  

Wildflowers peak in the Colorado summers, creating a blanket of colors from firey reds to majestic purples across the hillsides. The bright magenta fireweed springs to life in summer, usually blooming in areas once scorched by wildfires. The red and yellow blanket flower grows in the warm weather as well, covering open, grassy areas with its bicolor petals. Wild bergamot also brings bursts of purple to the hills, inviting hikers to stop and smell the aromatic blooms.  

Wildflower season begins to fade away in the fall, but a few flowers can still be spotted among autumn foliage. The light purple bitterroot is one of the species that springs to life after the heat of summer and begins growing in dry shrublands. Another low-growing species, the Arctic gentian, begins blooming with the chilly months as well. This beautiful white flower is easy to spot, growing tall with streaks of purple and green. 

Many species of wildflowers call southwestern Colorado home throughout the year. Read through this wildflower guide before your excursion to discover more species you can expect to see.  

Wildflower Conservation & Preservation 

During your excursion, help keep Colorado beautiful by preserving the natural habitat. Many wildflowers, despite seeming prolific, are vulnerable to extinction. Remember to explore responsibly and follow these few tips to keep wildflowers blooming for many years to come.  

Don’t pick wildflowers. As tempting as the colorful flowers may be, they need to be left to grow without interference. Wildflowers are crucial members of the local ecosystem and have delicate relationships with everything from the soil to the insects. Instead of plucking the flowers, capture them on camera. A photograph is more environmentally friendly and will last much longer.  

Keep the trail clean. As you hike through wildflower habitats, make an effort to preserve the natural surroundings. Stay on the trails to avoid disturbing wildlife and pick up any litter you find. 

Plant your own native wildflowers. If you find yourself still longing for fields of vibrant wildflowers, you can plant plenty of your own at home. Begin by researching species native to your area before buying a few packets of seeds. You’ll add a little color to your yard while positively contributing to the local ecosystem.  

Experience an abundance of stunning blooms when you explore the Pagosa Springs hiking trails during the wildflower season. Between rewarding hikes filled with native plants and floral photo-ops set against beautiful mountain backdrops, you’ll find a way to add a little color to your vacation. Visit us in Pagosa Springs, CO, to immerse yourself in the unparalleled natural beauty of Southwestern Colorado.  



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