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Where to hike for stunning wildflower views near Crested Butte

Crested Butte Wildflower hike

The “Wildflower Capital of Colorado” is now in their 30th year of their wildflower festival.

I went on a guided hike with one of their groups to learn a little more from local wildflower guru, Gary Rainwater.

Gary’s favorite wildflower identification book is “Wild About Wildflowers: Extreme Botanizing in Crested Butte, the Wildflower Capital of Colorado.”

Yes—that’s the title.

He said grabbing a book like this will help you learn a little bit about what’s around you.

The hike I went on with Gary was a sanctioned wildflower festival hike on the Snodgrass Trail.

The festival estimates that 3,000-6,000 people will participate in the festival this year, and they will be offering 110 hikes to some of the hot spots for flowers in the area.

To learn more about the festival, which goes through July 23, 2016, go to their website.

Gary said though all of Crested Butte is gorgeous right now, he has some favorite trails, if you’d like to skip the tour and check out some of the area’s flowers yourself.

Trail 403

Gary said even if there are no flowers popping, the scenery up on Trail 403 is some of the best in the area. He likes to start the hike on the Washington Gulch side. I drove up and, yes, the flowers are looking really great up there.

Snodgrass Trail

This is Gary’s home trail—and the one I went on for this story. Lots of different flowers here, and a bonus of a gorgeous aspen forest. We saw a fox—and a runner told us he saw a bear while we were hiking.

Long Lake

Gary highly recommends this short trail to a hidden lake right in Crested Butte, for those who don’t want to work too hard to see their flowers.

Brush Creek

This is one of the first hikes that came to Gary when I asked him where you can scope out some good flowers. The sunflowers here are supposed to be crazy.

Dyke Trail

Gary told me he was leading a hike here once, and a woman ran off the trail and started spinning around in the meadow of flowers. She said she felt like Julie Andrews. If you want to feel like you’re in the “Sound of Music,” head up to this trail.

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