Wildflowers coming into bloom all around county | VailDaily.com

Wildflowers coming into bloom all around county

EAGLE COUNTY — Wildflowers such as Indian paintbrush, Blue columbine (Colorado's state flower) and lupine are coloring the mountainsides after a long winter.

Wildflower season is getting going across the Vail Valley, and it will last for a few weeks.

"I would say depending where you are, it's already here," said Nicola Ripley, of the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail.

Wildflowers at locations such as Shrine Pass are starting now and will go for a couple of months, while places downvalley have been seeing blooming flowers for weeks already, Ripley said.

"We have arguably some of the best wildflower displays in the country — this area of the Rocky Mountains," Ripley said.

The top of Loveland Pass still has snow patches, so the wildflowers there will be blooming soon, while Vail Pass has been snow-free for some time now, allowing wildflowers to grow.

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Different elevations see peak wildflower at different times, depending on snowmelt.

At the Beaver Creek Hiking Center, wildflowers are filling in the mountainside and guides are teaching locals and visitors alike about what's growing out the backdoor.

"I love it," said Courtney Propst, of Aurora, who was hiking Thursday at Beaver Creek with her three young daughters. "They learn in school, but sometimes they learn more out on adventures like this."

At the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens Education Center in Vail, they are working on a wildflower app to debut this summer, as well as collecting seeds for Bureau of Land Management revegetation projects.

Ripley is reminding those out seeking wildflowers to not pick them. She's also reminding people to stop in the Education Center before or after a hike to better identify the wildflowers.

"Get out and enjoy," she said. "People have got a few weeks to enjoy it and see it at its best."