One of the best parts of spring is seeing the flowers start to bloom. Wildflowers vary by state, ranging from white gilia in Colorado to geraniums in Virginia and to desert flowers in California. Here are Tripping.com’s ten best wildflower walks across the United States. Some of these destinations, particularly in the mountains (such as Glacier National Park and Olympic National Park) experience their peak wildflower blooms later, in June and July. Make sure to do some research before planning your trip so you can be there at the best time.
Visit These 10 Places For The Best Wildflower Viewing
1. Roxborough State Park, Colorado
Image credit: djvass/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
Willowcreek Trail in Roxborough State Park has over 20 different types of wildflowers, such as white gilia, purple milkvetch, and chiming bells. The trail is a 1.4 mile loop and is also known for having a variety of birds. Trail hours depend on the month but are usually around 8am to 5pm during the winter and 7am to 9pm in the summer.
2. Sonoma Valley Regional Park, California
Image credit: Joseph McCarty/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
The best time to see the wildflowers in Sonoma Valley Regional Park is in the spring. The trail is 1.2 miles long, has picnic areas, and is dog friendly. The park, which has paved, wheelchair accessible trails, is open from 8am until sunset.
3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina
Image credit: Gary Millar/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has several wildflower trails. The Porters Creek Trail has beautiful wildflowers in March and April. The Middle Prong Trail has waterfalls and wildflowers such as violets and trilliums.
4. Pinnacles National Park, California
Image credit: Stanislav Sedov/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
Visit Pinnacles National Park in California between March and May to see peppergrass, poppies, black sage, fiddleneck, and more. Depending on the year, some of the flowers may begin blooming in January and still be blooming in the beginning of the summer.
5. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Image credit: Zaylea/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
Shenandoah National Park has beautiful flowers beginning in late March and has more bloom in June. Popular flowers in the spring include trillium, geraniums, and hepatica. In the summer you can see pink azaleas, mountain laurel, and milkweed. Go along the riverbanks, such as on the Hughes River, to see multiple types of flowers.
6. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Image credit: DavidnKeng/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is a great place to go hiking in the spring in search of trails of wildflowers. Hike along the 4.6 mile loop around Cub Lake to see over 80 types of flowers in the early spring.
7. Olympic National Park
Image credit: Bryan/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
Mount Ellinor Trail in Olympic National Park is a six mile trail. Wildflowers are visible in the spring and summer. The trail is known for its panoramic views. If you reach the summit, it’s not uncommon to see some mountain goats!
8. Glacier National Park, Montana
Image credit: Neil Forbes/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
Visit Glacier National Park in Montana to see hundreds of different types of wildflowers, such as beargrass and glacier lilies. Some flowers bloom here in April while flowers in highly elevated areas don’t bloom here until July.
9. Joshua Tree National Park, California
Image credit: teakwood/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
The Lost Palms Oasis Trail in Joshua Tree National Park is a unique trail because it has blooming desert flowers in the spring, such as poppies and cactus. The trail is over seven miles long and the best time to go is between March and May.
10. Dalles Mountain Ranch, Oregon
Image credit: Amancay Maahs/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
Walk or run along the almost seven mile loop of wildflowers at the Dalles Mountain Ranch in Oregon. The best time to see the wildflowers is in April and May. Along the trail you can also see a waterfall, wildlife, and even old ranch buildings.
This article was written by Colleen Regan.