As if the landscape of Rocky Mountain National Park wasn’t beautiful enough, for a couple of months out of the year, parts of the park burst with colorful wildflowers, adding another element of beauty. Late spring into summer is the perfect time to spot wildflowers in Colorado. Typically, when at a higher elevation, the wildflowers are at their peak during July into August. At lower elevations, they reach their peak late June into early July – all depending on rainfall and mountain run-off from the previous winter.
Keep your eye out for these popular wildflowers you can see in Rocky Mountain National Park.
As the Colorado state flower, the blue Columbine is one of the most common wildflowers found throughout the state. The flower covers a wide range of habitats including, hot and dry mountain slopes and moist, shady forests. The bloom has five pointy outer petals with blue and purple hues and five inner petals that are white.
This beautiful blue wildflower can stand tall at one to two feet high. They tend to be pale to dark, lilac-purple, and has a yellow base. They often form in dense, large patches in low spots and meadows, like Moraine Park in RMNP.
A bright and flashy flower, the Wood Lily has six orange and red petals and a contrasting yellow center. Found mostly in densely wooded areas, they can be rare to find, but easy to spot because of its color. They are most commonly found in moist, willowed areas on the slope side of the mountains.
For the best wildflower hikes in RMNP, visit here.
The delicate flower of the Fairy Slipper is one of the more popular wildflowers you can see in Rocky Mountain National Park. Also known as the Calypso Orchid, the Fairy Slipper blossom takes the shape of what appears to be a slipper. Mostly growing in clusters, the Fairy Slipper offers contrasting whites, yellows, magentas, and purples with a slender silhouette. They are tiny and are easiest to spot when in full bloom. Find them mostly in moist coniferous forests along the slope side of the mountains.
This brightly pink flower is part of the Snapdragon family and is most recognized by two petals that look like elephant ears and an additional part of the flower that looks like the trunk of an elephant. Commonly found in wet, marshy areas, growing in clusters from lower elevations along mountain slopes to higher elevations in the alpine ecosystem.
A common wildflower found in Colorado and RMNP is the common fireweed. Growing up to four feet high, the fireweed stands tall amongst the mountain landscape. Identified with four bright pink petals, along an elongated stem, the fireweed gets its name from not only its color but its innate ability to be one of the first to grow after a wildfire.
Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park
Aside from the wildflowers you can see at Rocky Mountain National Park, there are plenty of other activities available inside the park. From hiking, photography, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, and more.
Start planning your trip to RMNP and book your stay at Rocky Mountain Resorts. Our accommodations are just minutes away from the park and downtown Estes Park, making us the ideal location for exploring the area.