It takes a lot of flowers to earn the official title of Wildflower Capital of Colorado, but thats no problem in Crested Butte, where despite the long winter, the lupines are spiking and the paintbrush is coloring the regions alpine meadows red and gold. Theyre peaking just in time for the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, a 25-year tradition thats grown to encompass more than 200 workshops, hikes and activities during its annual week-long run, which begins today and continues through July 17.
So what exactly is blooming right now? Its more like what isnt blooming, says fest director Sue Wallace, who spends the entire year coordinating the weeks packed schedule. The festival really takes place during the peak blooming season. We have columbine, different types of sunflowers, mules ear, Indian paintbrush, lupine, larkspur. Those are some of the more familiar types, but we even have some of the things that are a little harder to find, like kings crown or fairy slippers. The glacier lilies may even still be hanging around because of the late snowmelt. And, she adds, even if you cant come for the festival proper, guided Weekly Wildflower Hikes will continue every Saturday this summer from 9 a.m. to noon, through Labor Day.