Summer, Summer Guides

5 Best Summer Wildflower Hikes

Hiking in Winter Park is an amazing way to experience the unrivaled beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Few things can compare to the magnificence of seeing Colorado’s vibrant wildflowers during a day spent on the trail, and with these 5 suggestions, you’ll be able to do just that. No matter if you’re looking for a high alpine trek or a mellow stream-side walk, these are wildflower hikes that all members of your adventure crew will enjoy.

Lower Roof of the Rockies & Fantasy Meadow

Wildflowers trail side in Winter Park.

What: A Winter Park classic! Take a scenic ride on The Gondola before exploring meadows of wildflowers and high-alpine beauty on this 5.2 mile round-trip hike.

Where: Ride The Gondola up before walking the road behind Sunspot, the trail will be on your right.

Lower to Upper Roof of the Rockies

What: A more challenging version of Lower Roof. Hike at over 11,000ft. to experience wildflowers well above treeline on this 3.4-mile loop. Plus, this is an excellent trail for dogs as well.

Where: Ride The Gondola up before walking the road behind Sunspot, follow the Lower Roof trail until it splits, go left. 

Second Creek – Broome Hut

Second Creek on the trail to Broome Hut

What: A challenging all-day hike, this 17.2-mile round-trip trek includes 4 miles of hiking above treeline and incredible views of wildflower meadows. Stop at the Broome Hut for a mid-hike break before hiking back down to the resort for dinner in the Village.*

*You’ll need to drive back to the trailhead if you hike down to the Village. We suggest bringing two cars and parking one at the resort before heading to the trailhead.  

Where: From the top of Berthoud Pass heading to Winter Park, the trailhead is located at the fourth hairpin turn. There is an obvious turnout with a sign for Second Creek Trail.

Jim Creek

What: A 6.4 mile round-trip hike with a stunning waterfall waiting for you. The hike runs parallel with Jim Creek, which produces gorgeous wildflowers and chances for wildlife sightings – moose included!

Where: Start at Bonfils Stanton, follow the trail on the right side for about 0.5 mile until it intersects with Jim Creek Trail.

Columbine Lake

Columbine Lake wildflower trail

What: A 6.8-mile round trip hike, this beautiful hike will take you to this tree-lined alpine lake. Columbine Lake is located in a basin on Mount Neva and epitomizes Colorado serenity while providing views of wildflowers in a breathtaking setting.

Where: Accessed at a trailhead northeast of Winter Park on County Road via CR 84/ FSR 129 in Tabernash.

Experience the beauty of Winter Park this summer by exploring these wildflower hikes through vibrant Colorado high country. It doesn’t matter if you’re out all day or for just a few hours, everyone can find adventure on their Winter Park outing this summer season.

A Few Tips For Responsible Wildflower Enjoyment

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when you’re standing in front of sweeping, colorful high alpine meadows. But remember, there are so many others looking to enjoy these beautiful spaces, too (as well as wildlife that depends on these precious blooms and their pollen). Here are a few tips for enjoying wildflowers responsibly in the Fraser Valley:

  • Keep the flowers in the ground. The best souvenirs from your trip are photos.
  • Stay on trail. There’s no need to run through the wildflower fields– as fun as it might sound.
  • Leave wildlife looking for flowers alone. (This includes insects.)

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