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Hiking trail conditions and wildflowers
3 replies 3214 views
07-01-2011, 09:01 PM Roger Clark
Now that summer is here, how are hiking trails in the high country (particularly nice wildflower hikes)? In particular, snow or extreme mud that makes trails difficult. Any good wildflower locations yet?

For example, has anyone done the shrine Pass trail (near Vail pass), or Lake Isabelle west of Ward?

07-06-2011, 08:12 PM Chris Frazier
I hiked up to Mayflower Gulch (between Copper and Leadville)last weekend, and also drove up part of Heckerman Pass. Also visited Half Moon Creek. On the hike, the only flower in quantity was Marsh Marigolds - it's still very wet, with water running on the dirt roads, snow in shadow or north areas. I heard the top of Heckerman Pass still has 2-3 feet of snow. IMHO, the large snowfall and melt has delayed most wildflowers. Three weeks ago, I was at Youngs Gulch in the Poudre River Canyon - plenty of wildflowers at that lower elevation.
07-09-2011, 03:37 PM Roger Clark
Hi Chris,

Thanks for the info.

I did get to drive up to Shrine Pass last weekend (July 3). Good thing I hadn't planned to hike there that day. It looked like May! There was still more than half a foot of snow in places on the road and the valley south of the road had little green vegetation yet (usually a carpet of wildflowers by now) and it looked like it was just emerging from being covered in snow. Very wet and muddy. Flowers will be late in many areas.

08-03-2011, 08:39 PM Roger Clark
I just got back from Crested Butte. In many areas the wildflowers are 6 to 7 feet tall! It is the best year since 1999 (which was better). Currently, the area just north of Mt Crested Butte where the road turns to dirt peaked last weekend. But from there to a little north of Rustler's Gulch many areas are peak. I did not go to Schofield pass as I heard the West Maroon Pass trail was still like winter, but that may be changing now. I camped near the trailhead to Rustler's Gulch. The trail into Rustler's Gulch is muddy and I wore tevas to cross streams. I hiked this trail on July 24 and Aug 1. On July 24 it was pre peak, and peak Aug 1. This is 2 to 3 weeks late.

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