Wildflowers in Aspen and Snowmass 

“You belong among the wildflowers,” a Tom Petty classic and a prompt from us, Limelight Hotels, to come and see what the hype is all about. 

Around the end of June, the snow atop the mountains will finally melt out and the brown, slushy ground will turn into lush meadows of alpine grass and colorful wildflowers. Aspen and Snowmass, situated in a valley within the Elk Mountain Range, see some of the best blooms in the state. Visiting the area and need some insight? Here’s our guide: 

On Top of Our Four Mountains

You don’t need a vehicle to get in on the action. All four ski mountains across Aspen and Snowmass allow for spectacular wildflower viewing. As you ascend the hills of Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Highlands, or Snowmass Mountain, you’ll stumble upon petals of yellow, red, orange, white, and blue of the local flora.  

To get the best view, you can either hoof it and get a workout in or, on Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Mountain, catch a ride on the gondola –– sightseeing pass required. Come June, the bike park on Snowmass Mountain opens for the season. Experience a blur of the flowers as you speed down some of the best single track in the valley. Don’t forget your “Yee yees.”  

Independence Pass 

Independence Pass, which connects Aspen to neighboring Twin Lakes via Highway 82, is a windy stretch that snakes and curves up to a peak of 12,095 feet in elevation. A scenic –– albeit daunting –– drive, Indy Pass features a few pull-offs with trailheads that will lead you into a wonderland of wildflowers. Several miles up the pass is one of our favorites: Upper Lost Man Lake. A 5.5ish mile out & back, the trail leads you through fields of colorful flowers and drops you off at Lost Man Lake––a pristine glacial lake surrounded by dramatic peaks. Do you dare take a dip in the frigid waters?  

West Maroon Pass 

If for whatever reason, Aspen and Snowmass just aren’t enough for your wanderlust soul, make your way over to neighboring town, Crested Butte, via West Maroon Pass. Crested Butte, a 100+ mile drive that takes over 3-hours to reach, is just a short 12-miles by foot. During this hike, which starts near the Maroon Bells and traverses through the Elk Mountains, you’ll witness one of the most mesmerizing sights of wildflowers in your life. Enjoy visions of irises, columbines, lupines, bergamots, yarrows, and more as you make your way from Aspen to Crested Butte. Don’t forget to snap some pics! 

Marron Bells 

Not feeling a hike but wanting to experience the summer wildflowers in their pure, Colorado form? We’ve got you. The Maroon Bells, aka the mountain scape that almost anyone associates with Colorado, are just a quick drive away. While parking is very limited and restricted, you can take a shuttle from Aspen Highlands to get your glimpse at the iconic peaks. During the early to mid-summer, take in colorful Colorado by viewing the Bells surrounded by all the blooms popping out of the ground.  

About Julia Aldrich