50 Species of wildflowers in summer months
Grand Mesa Visitor's Center
A good place to start your wildflower search is at the Grand Mesa Visitor's Center in the Grand Mesa National Forest. The visitor's center, at an elevation of 10,200 feet, is located at the intersection of Colorado Highway 65 and Forest Service Road 121, just across from Cobbett Lake. In 1999, the U.S. Forest Service began a demonstration garden at the site to familiarize visitors with the variety of wildflowers, shrubs and trees in the Grand Mesa.
With 300 alpine lakes to choose from, summer is the ideal time to experience hiking and fishing on the Grand Mesa. The snow is mostly melted and the rainbow assortment of wildflowers are beautifully blooming. If you’re hiking during the evening or camping overnight, be prepared for nighttime temperatures to drop dramatically. Temperatures can be twenty degrees cooler than the valley below. The hottest it has ever been atop the Mesa is just 80 degrees.
Day trip with a botanist
Museum of Western Colorado Field Trip
Every year the Museum of Western Colorado schedules very interesting trips throughout Colorado and to nearby states. It's a great opportunity to travel, learn and socialize with others. Past trips include Dinosaur tracks, old mining towns, Jeep 4-wheeeling outside Telluride and much more.
This trip that I went on featured a Botanist that helped us identify the many varieties of wildflowers we encountered. We made many stops along the way and it was a very fun and interesting day trip.
Museum of the West, Museum of Western Colorado, 462 Ute Ave. Grand Junction, CO
10 mile gravel road
Land's End Road
Land's End Observatory is an old ranger observatory on the edge of the Grand Mesa. Land's End is accessed by a 12 mile half paved, half dirt road off of Scenic Byway 65 and a 4x4 high clearance vehicle is not required. While the observatory is no longer in use, it is still a popular place to visit and enjoy the views. Looking one direction, you can see the Book Cliffs and out into Utah. Looking the other direction, you can see the San Juan Mountains and the Uncompahgre Wilderness. Colorado National Monument, Big Dominguez Canyon and Little Dominguez Canyon, Unaweep Canyon, and several 14ers can also be seen.
Grand Mesa Wildflowers
Pink Paintbrush Wildflowers