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The best Colorado wildflower festivals for summer 2014

July is the month for wildflower festivals in Colorado’s high country. With cooler temperatures at higher altitudes many mountain areas are just now seeing the full spring bloom. And while odds are you can simply drive around the high country and see wildflowers in bloom, there are a few mountain towns that specialize in this annual display of color. This month the Wildflower Capital of Colorado, Crested Butte, will host the annual Wildflower Festival in the beginning of July, Palisade has its Lavender Festival mid-month, and July will end with the special Wildflower Train Tour in Leadville.

Wildflower photos taken around Colorado. Admittedly not all are native species, but they are all are beautiful and can be seen at the various Wildflower Festivals around Colorado.
photos by Mary Glass and Josh Bourassa
Columbine flowers photographed in the Colorado Rocky Mountains
photo courtesy of Mary Glass

Crested Butte Wildflower Festival (July 7-13; Crested Butte, CO) This week long wildflower bonanza in Crested Butte, Colorado contains a wide variety of flower related activities. Topics covered in the different classes and tours at the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival include botany and medicinal, edibles, gardening, birding and butterflies, gardening, photography, hiking and art. Most activities require participants to register and pay a fee which can be done through the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival website.

Colorado Lavender Festival (July 11-13: Palisade, CO) This species specific celebration in Palisade, Colorado is the only lavender festival in the state. There will be seminars and tours of local lavender farms for lavender enthusiast and for the more casual lavender lover the festival will have live music, cooking demonstrations and dozens of vendors selling lavender related goods. There will also be an art show at the Blue Pig where you can either enter your own lavender art or vote for the People’s Choice Award; the winner will be announced at the end of the Colorado Lavender Festival on July 13.

Wild Flower Train Tour (July 19-August 2: Leadville, CO) During late July and the beginning of August the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad run a special wildflower train tour to give visitors the chance to see alpine wildflowers in full bloom. The tour includes a train ride and a guided 20 minute hike, so comfortable shoes and water bottles are a must have for this seasonal train ride. Passengers on the Wild Flower Train are likely to see Indian paintbrushes, lupine, wild strawberries and more as they ride and hike through the annual wildflower bloom around Leadville, Colorado.

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