Plan your vacation now! - American Nurseryman Magazine - Horticulture Magazine and Horticulture Books - Plan your vacation now!

Plan your vacation now!


As much as we don't want to encourage thousands of trampling hiking boots, we can't resist recommending a horticulturist's dream vacation:

Colorado's Crested Butte Wildflower Festival Salutes Nature's Explosion of Color
More than 200 events planned for July 8 - 14 & other spectacular excursions to see the flowers

Designated the "Wildflower Capital of Colorado" by the Colorado State Legislature in 1990, Crested Butte will host the 27th annual Wildflower Festival July 8 - 14.  Visitors, photographers and artists from across the United States and abroad journey to Crested Butte to witness nature's explosion of color during the festival and the weeks surrounding and well into the month of August.  Crested Butte Wildflower Festival also will be offering activities through early September this year.

During Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, more than 200 events will showcase the lush landscapes and focus on activities that include wildflowers such as hikes and walks, jeep tours, garden tours, and workshops in photography, art, gardening, medicinals and botany.  It's also possible to attend Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival, Crested Butte Music Festival and Gunnison Cattlemen's Days happenings the same week. 

Highlights for 2013 Festival

Daily hikes and walks for all ranges of strength, fitness and wildflower know-how are some of the most popular happenings on the festival's schedule.  Go full-day, full-strength, or, if still adjusting to the altitude, go half-day at a more leisurely pace. Here's a sampling of what will be offered.
. Hike through the Maroon Bells Wilderness to Aspen, an 11-mile trip through Colorado's most epic wildflower meadows.
. Several private landowners are allowing the festival to lead hikes on their properties.  See wildflowers in places that most people never get to see.
. Hike to the old mining town of Crystal, home of the photogenic Crystal Mill.
. Classic Crested Butte hikes will take guests to Scarp Ridge, Cloud City, Schofield Pass, Snodgrass Mountain and the vast West Maroon Pass area.
For those who want to mix it up or who want to enjoy the flowers, learn something new and socialize without a healthy dose of exercise, there are options galore. 
. More than 20 photography classes will be offered to help sharpen skills for shooting wildflowers up-close and in landscapes. New this year is bird photography, where students learn how to capture hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators with cameras.
. Experience a Rocky Mountain sunset in style with "Hors d'oeuvres in the Evening Light" in the Washington Gulch area.
. Crested Butte Wildflower Festival and Crested Butte Music Festival are co-hosting a Wildflower Happy Hour and American String Quartet combo, where cocktails and appetizers will be served, Gregg Morin-the 2013 Poster Artist will sign posters, and chamber music by Chopin, Shostakovich and Dvorak will be presented.
. Gardening classes provide tips on how to create a more natural, native garden that will attract the desired pollinators.
. Birds and butterflies go hand-in-hand with wildflowers.  Learn how to identify the area's unique birds from their song and see stunning butterflies feasting on gorgeous wildflowers.
. Artists may choose from a rich palette of offerings including plein air painting, watercolor, field sketching, batik, ceramics, and calligraphy.  Several of the classes are being offered by Art Studio of the Center for the Arts, which also has pastel, canvas and cabernet, and botanical illustration workshops planned for the week. 
. Learn to apply wildflower aromatherapy for good health and to make flower-infused teas, vinegars, candles, and botanical skin and hair conditioners/remedies.
. Cooking classes that take inspiration from flowers and nature demonstrate how to create delicious, healthy and fun summer appetizers and meals.
. Van and 4 x 4 tours traverse into the backcountry to see the area's wildflower splendor.
. Relax and unwind with a yoga class in a field of wildflowers or treat tired hiking muscles to a Pilates mat class.
. Shop at the Blossom Boutique for many unique wildflower-themed gifts, clothing, books and festival posters from 2013 and earlier years.

Schedule & Registration

For more information, to register for events and to download a bloom locator brochure, call (970) 349-2571 or visit  The Festival will be headquartered at Crested Butte Community School, 818 Red Lady Ave., from July 8 - 14.