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Monday July 22, 2019

By Abby Hutmacher


The sun is out, the birds are singing, and Colorado wildflowers are blooming left and right. Fields of multi-colored, fragrant foliage are there to behold, and many of the best places to see Colorado’s wildflowers are just a short drive (and moderate hike) away. Best of all, thanks to Colorado’s legal cannabis market, you can get a little high first and appreciate them even more! 

Why You Should Definitely Get Out After Smoking

Many people consume cannabis because it makes it easier to relax at the end of a busy day. Though weed can be a great way to slow a busy brain, it can also be a catalyst for an amazing adventure, too. That’s because cannabis enhances sensations in the body like sight, scent, and sound. Therefore, the best way to optimize a high is to choose activities that tickle all the senses. Nature hikes are especially appealing this time of the year and can turn up some pretty awesome photo ops, to boot.

Where to Find Blooming Colorado Scenery

We could spend all day boasting about Colorado’s beautiful scenery, but the only way to truly appreciate wildflower season in Colorado is to get out and see it for yourself. Though you’ll likely find beauty just about anywhere you look, we believe some of the best wildflower hikes in Colorado begin at the following trailheads. 

Coloradan Wildflowers
Just about anywhere you look fields of multi-colored wildflowers are blooming left and right in Colorado. photo credit

Crested Butte, Trail 403: Crested Butte is Colorado’s Wildflower Capital, and the 4-mile hike that connects Washington Gulch to Gothic will prove it. Trail 403 is a moderate hike that features hillsides abloom with a variety of wildflowers between the months of March and October, with peak season in mid-July (which coincides nicely with the area’s annual wildflower festival). The steady climb from Gothic to Washington Gulch can be challenging for some, however, so pack plenty of water and try to go easy on the bong hits pre-hike, too.

Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Three Island Lake: The Mount Zirkel Wilderness area was one of the first areas to gain protection under the Wilderness act of 1964. As such, the area is teaming with beautiful foliage, regional wildlife, and clear waters which help it all flourish. 

Three Island Lake Trail
Three Island Lake flourishes with beautiful foliage, regional wildlife, and clear waters. photo credit

The 7-mile round-trip hike along Three Island Lake is one of the most trafficked hikes in the area, though crowds can generally be avoided when hiking mid-week. Once you reach the lake at the end of your hike, relax and enjoy a bowl to celebrate your accomplishment (though remember to keep it under wraps – the area is under Federal jurisdiction which means cannabis consumption is technically illegal there). 

Ice Lake/Island Lake Hike: For those looking for a challenge, this 8.1 mile round-trip hike will make you proud of your endurance and sure-footedness. The Ice Lake/Island Lake hike features everything a seasoned hiker could want – gorgeous views, physical challenges, jaw-dropping cliffs, crisp air atop running water, and even a little history courtesy of a few old mining operations – all while increasing about 3,000 feet in elevation. The steep incline can be a challenge but is totally worth it to see beautiful Island Lake before circling back around again. No parking pass is required, and pets are allowed if they are kept on a leash.

Cub Lake Trail Loop: This easy, 6-mile loop perfectly showcases the beauty of Colorado scenery. With only a moderate incline to reach the lake, Cub Lake Trail is the perfect hike for people of all ages and experience levels. Wildlife sightings are common along the trail as are more than 80 varieties of wildflowers native to the region. Though the typical hiking season runs from March through October, the best time to see the flowers is between late May and early July.

Best Strains to Take in the Sights

If you’re going to get high before hiking, it’s important to put the right strain in your brain. The last thing you need, after all, is to smoke bowl of some killer indica then forget to leave your couch! But choosing the best strain for a hike means more than finding the most potent sativa, too (lest you get too paranoid along your journey). No, the best strains for hiking should fall somewhere in the middle, favoring uplifting sativa qualities while drawing out the creative tendencies of certain high terpene strains. As such, we recommend strains like Durban Poison, Super Lemon Haze, and Sour Diesel

Do you have a favorite place to find Colorado wildflowers? Share your go-to spots in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Walker Hall (license)


Abby Hutmacher Abby Hutmacher

Abby is a writer and founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace designed to connect cannabis writers and creatives with businesses in the industry. She has been a professional cannabis writer since 2014 and regularly contributes to publications such as PotGuide and M&F Talent. She is also the Content Director at Fortuna Hemp, America’s leading feminized hemp seed bank. Follow Abby on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

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