Best Wildflower Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park

07/10/2018 | by Bill Goldmann | Estes Park Local Area

Summer in the Rockies is perfectly picturesque, with vibrant blooms and rugged mountain peaks in the background.  Add a little color to your outdoor adventures and use our guide to the best wildflower hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. 


Nymph Lake

This easy half-mile route from Bear Lake to Nymph Lake is the perfect short-day excursion to see Rocky Mountain wildflowers. The lake is dotted with yellow-colored floating pond lilies, surrounded by an over-flowing, lush green landscape. If you choose to continue, you will be greeted with undeniable views of Hallett Peak plus an abundance of wildflowers along the way.

Length: 0.5 out and back

Difficulty: easy

Peak blooming: late May to July

Tundra Nature Trail

At the top of trail ridge road, reaching an elevation of 12,319 feet, hikers will be met with hearty alpine flowers that are built to survive cooler temperatures. Some of the high-alpine species that will be visible include, Indian paintbrush, forget-me-nots, and Alpine avens. Be sure to check road closures for Trail Ridge Road as this road is not open year-round and access can vary.

Length: 0.5 out and back

Difficulty: easy

Peak blooming: late May to July

Ute Trail

Ideal for all skill levels, Ute Trail offers scenic mountain views and an abundance of Snowlover, typically found on alpine ridges where snow patches are present. Complete with other tundra wildflowers along the way, this is the perfect day hike for those wanting beautiful alpine scenery. For the quickest access to the trail, start at the Alpine Visitor Center within Rocky Mountain National Park.

Length: 5.6 out and back

Difficulty: easy

Peak blooming: late May to July


Cub Lake

As one of the more popular trails within the park, Cub Lake trail has mountain views, a pristine lake, and of course stunning wildflowers. With over 80 different wildflower varieties, this hike is perfect for viewing a wide variety of colorful blooms, such as bee Palm and wintergreen, just to name a few.

Length: 6.1-mile loop trail

Difficulty: moderate

Peak blooming: late May to July

East Inlet Trail

Head to the west side of the park towards Grand Lake and hike the Estes Inlet Trail, complete with a cascading waterfall and a valley filled with colorful Colorado wildflowers. Part of what makes this hike great is you can gain a great deal of isolation, away from the crowds of Rocky Mountain National Park by taking this back-country route.

Length: 16-mile out and back

Difficulty: moderate

Peak blooming: late May to July


Ouzel Falls

Wild Basin trailhead of Rocky Mountain National Park is a steep and jagged hike, but the views are worth the climb. Wildflowers that are on display throughout the trail include mouse-eared chickweed and white bog orchids. With several attractions along the way, including a river, Copeland Falls, Calypso Cascades, and of course Ouzel Falls at the end of the hike, this is a hike worth pulling out the camera for.

Length: 5.4 out and back

Difficulty: challenging

Peak blooming: early to mid-July

Where to stay

After exploring the wildflower trails of Rocky Mountain National Park, cozy up in one of our rustic, mountain cabins or suites. Summer is a popular time to visit Estes Park, so start planning your mountain getaway and book your stay with Rocky Mountain Resorts.

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