Springtime wildflowers in full bloom throughout the Grand Valley
Delicate desert blooms are pure magic when viewed in juxtaposition to the naturally brown and rocky landscape found throughout the Grand Valley. And this weekend will showcase a fantastic wildflower season in its prime, following a wetter-than-normal spring.
You’ll “ooo and ahh” as you hike or bike the trails, enjoying the bright pink, orange, red and even light-green flowers associated with lush moisture these days rare in western Colorado.
“Wildflowers are definitely more abundant this season due to the moisture we had in April,” CSU Extension horticulture education specialist and master gardener Susan Rose said. “Everything is a couple of weeks behind, so we’ve had more of a chance to see things. The flowers didn’t come and go so fleetingly.”
According to Rose, wildflower lovers will have ample opportunity to view gorgeous blooms throughout the Colorado National Monument, on the Book Cliffs, and even in the Black Canyon.
The Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau (GJVCB) also recommends Canyon Rim Trail in the Monument and Lands End Road on the Grand Mesa as prime wildflower destinations.
“The Colorado National Monument is home to (more than) 100 species of native wildflowers,” a recent GJVCB news release said. “Evening primrose, prickly pear, and gilia blossoms are visible on the Colorado National Monument this time of year. June begins with colorful cacti ranging from yellow, red and peach to rich magenta. Learn about what’s blossoming now from the experts on Ranger-led walks, talks and hikes throughout the summer.”
McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area (NCA), located 30 miles to the west of Grand Junction, is another area touted for its beautiful late-spring flowers.
“Mariposa lily, double bladderpod, globemallow, Jones’ blue star, and grand buckwheat are some of the wildflowers that bloom in McInnis Canyons,” the news release said.
“I really love the Mariposa lilly,” Rose said. “It’s having a very good year.”
On the Free Press Facebook page, a number of readers weighed in as well, saying wildflowers are plentiful on the Corkscrew Trail, the Liberty Cap Trail, Rim Rock Drive (which cuts through the Monument), around the Redlands, and beside the numerous bike trails cross-crossing the valley.
The area around Unaweep Canyon boasts its share of blooms, too.
Rose additionally noted that wildflower season will last well into summer as mountain towns warm and blossom.
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