Your Guide to Wildflowers in the Rocky Mountains

One of our favorite summer activities is wildflower spotting. It’s the perfect add-on to any outdoor activity, too—hiking, fishing, biking, rafting… you get the idea! Get planning with this comprehensive guide of where and when to look for colorful wildflowers this summer!

We’d recommend investing in your own Rocky Mountain wildflower identification book (stop into Zach’s Mercantile or find one online). We love a pocket guide that can be easily stashed in a pocket or backpack!

Spring (May-June)

Where there’s water, there’s likely early spring flowers sprouting up from the newly-melted ground. Hop on Blue Extra and continue to Swindler for some early season pasqueflowers! Continue on to the Sawmill Loop for fantastic views of James and Parry peaks, plus more creekside spots to scout white marsh marigolds and more!

Flowers to look out for:

White Marsh-marigold
Golden Banner
Blue-Eyed Mary
Wild Strawberry


Early Summer (June-July)

During early-to-mid-summer, you’re likely to see wildflowers most places you go! The paved Fraser River Trail is a great option for all ages and abilities—both hiking and biking. You’ll find plenty of shade and spots to explore the banks of the Fraser River. Keep an eye out for heart-leaf leopardbane!

Make the climb up Marker Hill right here at Devil’s Thumb Ranch for wildflowers amid the aspen trees and fantastic views at the top! Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of daisies on your way up.

Flowers to look out for:

Heart-leaf Leopardbane
Purple Fringe
Silvery Lupine
Alpine Forget-Me-Nots
Showy Locoweed
Wild Rose
Oxeye Daisies
Trailing Daisies


Mid-Summer (July-Aug)

Head to the top of Berthoud Pass and hike along the Continental Divide Trail for a smorgasbord of colorful flowers and sweeping views from the mountaintops. You’re likely to spot moss campion, bistort (a crossover from the early summer list), alpine buttercups, and more.

If you’re seeking truly spectacular colors and variety and you’re in for a bit of a strenuous hike, you must make the trek to Devil’s Thumb—the rock formation you can see from afar along the Continental Divide (and the namesake of our ranch)! This 8-mile hike truly delivers on flora and views! Once you make it up to the high alpine saddle near the top of this hike, you may find Indian paintbrush, dwarf golden asters, and more.

Flowers to look out for:

Indian Paintbrush
Bluebell Bellflower
Mountain Bluebells
Elephanthead Lousewort
Pink Mountain Heather
Cushion Phlox
Parry’s Primrose
Sky Pilot
Moss Campion
Bristle Thistle
Alpine Buttercup
Dwarf Golden Aster


Late Summer (Aug-Sept)
Meander through meadows and along streams for a variety of wildflowers on the Creekside/Flume loop, just west of the town of Fraser. On this hiking and biking loop, you’re likely to see fireweed and king’s crown.

Flowers to look out for:

Scarlet Gilia
King’s Crown
Mountain Gentian
Fringed Gentian



Want to catch the flowers in bloom? Find your stay here!

Trails throughout Devil’s Thumb Ranch are exclusively for use by lodging guests and owners of the The Ranches.



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