Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Wildflowers in San Juan Mountians?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Canyon Country, California
    Posts
    75

    Wildflowers in San Juan Mountians?

    I have some time in late June or early July to visit the San Juan Mountains. Does anyone know, or can someone guess, when the best time to go is? From what I've seen, which is sketchy, the 1st week in July seems to be the best bet.

    I think I want to drive the Million Dollar Highway from south-to-north to stay on the "inside?"

    Thanks for any info.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sheridan, Colorado
    Posts
    982

    Re: Wildflowers in San Juan Mountians?

    It depends on how high you plan on going. It's been a pretty wet winter in the Mountains. For example, Trail Ridge Road, which is normally open before Memorial Day, just opened yesterday. And if you go up there in four weeks, there will be more snow than flowers. Usually mid-July is a better bet for alpine flowers, maybe a little later this year. FYI, there are still ski areas open and MANY campgrounds are still closed! You need to determine if the trails are open -- the National Forest Service can help there, but then most flowers need time to grow and bloom. SO when you find flowers, try to stay around that elevation.

    Snow Lily in Mt. Zirkel Wilderness

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	lily.jpg 
Views:	27 
Size:	68.6 KB 
ID:	165662

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Canyon Country, California
    Posts
    75

    Re: Wildflowers in San Juan Mountians?

    Thanks for the info. BTW, nice pix. Now I know where the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness is, along with the "Routt Divide Blowdown." :-) I've started to partially retire, so Southwestern Colorado, from Southern California, is a do-able 4 day trip. Looks like I need to plan time in a few years to get to Northern Colorado.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sheridan, Colorado
    Posts
    982

    Re: Wildflowers in San Juan Mountians?

    Don't leave out Wyoming. The Wind River range are the most beautiful mountains between Canada and the Andes. And then there's Yellowstone, and the Big Horn mountains, and Grand Teton National Park, and.......

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sheridan, Colorado
    Posts
    982

    Re: Wildflowers in San Juan Mountians?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeH View Post
    so Southwestern Colorado, from Southern California, is a do-able 4 day trip.
    I would take 4 WEEKS -- one in the Grand Canyon, one in Zion, one in Arches, one in Canyonlands, one in Escalante/Golden Staircase, one in Capitol Reef, one in the San Rafael reef, one in.... Did I say WEEKS? I meant MONTHS!!!

  6. #6
    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Baltimore MD
    Posts
    921

    Re: Wildflowers in San Juan Mountians?

    For the San Juan Mountains mid-late July is best due to the high elevations there. Look up Yankee Boy Basin, Dallas Divide, Million Dollar Highway, La Plata Canyon, Echo Basin above Mancos, the area around Rico, the Meadows near Dunton, Weminuche Wilderness, Telluride, etc.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sheridan, Colorado
    Posts
    982

    Re: Wildflowers in San Juan Mountians?

    If you want to get away from the crowds -- there WILL be crowds, mostly Californians!:

    #1 -- stay away from 14ers and trails that go up them

    #2 -- stay away from any place listed in a guide book

    #3 -- try the Uncompaghre Wilderness (some sources refer to it by its old name, Big Blue Wilderness)

    #4 -- stay away from 14ers and trails that go up them
    Last edited by xkaes; 2-Jun-2017 at 16:26.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sheridan, Colorado
    Posts
    982

    Re: Wildflowers in San Juan Mountians?

    Here's a shot from the just opened Trail Ridge road. It's going to be a while for any flowers to show up -- or any trail heads for that matter.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	trailridge.JPG 
Views:	25 
Size:	16.2 KB 
ID:	165666
    Last edited by xkaes; 2-Jun-2017 at 18:08.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Canyon Country, California
    Posts
    75

    Re: Wildflowers in San Juan Mountians?

    Your responses are great! Thanks, everyone.

    I do taxes and small business stuff, and I'm in the middle of transferring my personal tax clients to someone else. So, it's difficult to get away for more than 4 days at a time, at least for the next 1/2 year or so. I have a tax training class in Las Vegas in December, so I'll probably "scout" Zion when I'm there.

    Again, Thanks!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sheridan, Colorado
    Posts
    982

    Re: Wildflowers in San Juan Mountians?

    More tips. First, stay away from the Durango Silverton Railroad and Chicago Basin. I'm sure it/them will be highly suggested to you. It is a beautiful area, but you will NEVER get a seat on the railroad at this point (it is ONLY accessible by train) and the place is busier than Yosemite Valley. Also avoid the Continental Divide Trail which is busier than Grand Central Station -- after the snow melts. Have at least some general ideas about where you want to go (ALWAYS have a PLAN B). Before you arrive, call/email the area (National Park, Forest, BLM, etc.) and ask where the snow level is. Ask if the trail(s) you plan on hiking are open. Stay well below the snow level if you want flowers. If you are going into a wilderness area there will probably be a "backcountry office/ranger" that you should contact. Depending on where you are camping you might need a permit -- and these might be limited to a small number. No kidding. Lastly, if you run into any nasty people, just say "HELLO" -- more likely than not, they are from California (or recent transplants).

Similar Threads

  1. San Juan Islands-Washington
    By lfgary in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 5-Aug-2009, 11:03
  2. wildflowers
    By derek regensburger in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 24-Mar-2005, 18:24
  3. Wildflowers in Texas
    By Steve Seitz in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 4-Jan-2002, 13:13
  4. AZ Desert Wildflowers?
    By Todd Caudle in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 13-Feb-2001, 08:41

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •