We had a late start to our summer here in Winter Park, and May was particularly rainy at 3.74 inches (average May rainfall is 2.15 inches). Excess rain presents a dilemma in the early days of the season. On one hand, you have to be conscious of such things as lightning, and you must schedule your hikes with safety (and proper gear) in mind.
On the other hand, an abundance of rain has one the most beautiful results imaginable: a stunning array of wildflowers decorating the mountain landscape.
When we think of wildlife, it’s easy to gravitate toward animals. We stop sometimes to snap a photo of a moose or a fox, but in wildflowers we find a more subtle beauty, a quiet artistry that surrounds us, and doesn’t run away when we stop to take a picture.
We’ve been celebrating this year’s abundance with pictures on Instagram and Facebook, and this week we finally decided to take a hike with the sole purpose of photographing some flowers. These can be spotted all over the valley, though this particular set of photographs was taken at the top of Rollins Pass (if you decide to go there, make sure you have a four-wheel drive vehicle!).
Can you guess the names of each of these flowers? Answers below!
(Special thanks to Wildflowers of Colorado for helping us research each flower)
- Moss Campion Plants (Silene acaulis)
- Leafy Cinquefoil (drymocallis fissa)
- Alpine Kittentail Flowers (besseya alpine)
- Alpine Daisy Flowers (aster alpinus)
- Alpine Mertensia Flowers (mertensia alpine)
- Bistort Flowers (polygonum bistortoides)
There are some truly fantastic hikes out there, and we absolutely encourage you to go out and snap some of your own photos. That said, remember to teach children not to pick them and to keep pets from trampling them! It’s important to stay on the trail to maintain the delicate ecosystem balance, and to keep our wildflowers coming back every year.
If you are planning a summer hiking vacation in Colorado, click here take a peek at our 140+ modern vacation rentals in Winter Park.