Wildflower Hikes: 4 Destinations for the Most Colorful Spring Blooms
Nothing paints the landscape quite like a field of wildflowers.
A hike in one of these wildflower destinations across America gives you a gorgeous excuse to get outside, get some exercise, and enjoy the natural beauty of the season.
Put yourself in the middle of all that color for a celebration of spring and some really beautiful photos.
Upper Loop Trail in Crested Butte, CO
Crested Butte is the wildflower capital of the west. With a diverse mix of flower species ranging from purple popping Columbines to the fiery red and orange hues of the Indian paintbrush you’ll feel as if you're walking on a rainbow. The moderately-rated Upper Loop Trail has seven-point-six miles of flowery scenery. Dogs are able to use this trail, but please obey leash laws.
Insider Tip: Crested Butte loves their wildflowers so much, they celebrate a festival of flowers every year in early July.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Early spring bloom enthusiasts flock to Great Smoky Mountains National Park to witness the amazing fields of over 1,500 different wildflower species. Every year, there is a five-day Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage where flower power reigns supreme with guided walks, lectures and demonstrations. Hit these trails in February through April for the best blooms -- by June, the blooms have vanished.
Insider Tip: With so many trails to choose from, its best to check in with the Great Smoky Mountains Association for specific updates about which trails are blooming.
Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve in the Mojave Desert, California
If you want to see the desert blazing with color, head to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. Thousands upon thousands of poppies bloom here each year, turning the desert landscape into a sea of yellows and orange. Prime season happens in April, before temperatures become uncomfortably hot.
Insider Tip: There are approximately eight miles of trail on the reserve. Since the weather here can be unpredictable, the reserve posts updates on its website from February through May.
Maple Pass and Hidden Lake Lookout Trails in North Cascade National Park, Washington State
Frolic among wildflowers with an iconic volcanic mountain backdrop in North Cascades National Park. Flowers bloom at the lower elevations as early as late February, and from from August to September, the high alpine meadows erupt into a celebration of color. The Hidden Lake Lookout Trail runs for 7.3 miles and is rated as difficult, so be prepared for a tough day. For a moderate alternative, head to the 6.4 mile Maple Pass Trail.
Insider Tip: This is a remote national park -- don't expect cell service here. Come prepared with all of the food, gas, and water you need for your stay.
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