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Wildflower Season in Colorado will be Short

Photo: Okiemack

If you live in Colorado and you like hiking – chances are you look forward to long hikes through high meadows filled with wildflowers. Colorado has numerous varieties of flowers including the Columbine, Fireweed, Indian Paintbrush, Bluebells and Parry’s Primrose. We always look forward to early summer in the high mountains as the splash of color isn’t to be missed. This year however, due to the extreme dryness, we’re likely in for a very short viewing season. If you’re planning on your usual early June hike to view flowers, you might not see as many as in years past. According to this article in the Summit Daily, we’re in for a short season:

The winter had sparse snowfall, so the flowers aren’t thriving in a high snowmelt environment. The spring has been dry, and it’s expected to continue — and probably get hotter and drier, Colorado State University Summit County Extension Service director Dan Schroder said.

“The wildflowers will undoubtedly suffer,” he said.

Right now, the lupine and Indian paintbrush are blooming along the Peaks Trail and in the Highlands in Breckenridge, Schroder said. Those locations begin to get at the higher elevation areas that don’t typically melt out until July, which usually allows wildflower watchers to continue enjoying colorful hikes.

This year, though, the higher elevation areas have mostly melted — and it’s just the start of June.

“The general consensus (among CSU officials) is that wildflowers are blooming earlier than expected, and this is tied directly to last winter’s snowpack being at 18 percent of normal in Summit County,” Schroder said. “We are observing an early bloom with an expectation of very little wildflower activity later in the summer as the landscape dries out and the lack of moisture doesn’t support wildflower populations.”

If you’re wanting to view our state’s beautiful flowers, better get to that hiking trip sooner than later. For the rest of the article, please see: Wild Colorado: Wildflower season expected to be short and dry