Take a Walk With the Wildflowers

With Mary Menz and Jim Pisarowicz

[San Juan Silver Stage | May 2020 | Western Colorado] Co-authors of Common Wildflowers of the San Juan Mountains, Menz and Pisarowicz lead us on three different wildflower walks at varying elevations in the San Juan Mountains and nearby canyons of Delta County. Listen as Mary describes them, what they saw and where they found them. The first, High Country Collage is a collage of flowers living between 8,500 ft. and 10,000 ft. elevation. The second, Escalante Canyon” shares images of flowers growing from 4,200 ft. to to 4,800 ft. in colorful canyon country. The third, “Silvershield Trail traverses a steep, 1.600 ft. ascent from Ouray, starting around 7,800 ft. Early wildflowers, from late April to early May are sometimes hard to find, sometimes buried in snow, but as Mary says, “It’s not too early to get out there and search for wildflowers! At every elevation there are flowers to enjoy from now until end of August as the high country opens up.” Please enjoy seeing them, but please help preserve the wildflowers—don’t pick the flowers or garther the seeds! Both belong right where they are.

High Country Collage — Alpine Wildflowers

There are hundreds of species of native wildflowers in Colorado. Here’s a look at what you’ll see in the coming months at elevations above 8500 feet in the San Juan Mountains. We took these pictures in late April and early May, but flowers will be blooming here all summer.

Escalante Canyon—Wildlfowers in Canyon Country

Here’s a look at what you’ll see from in the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area (NCA). Known for its breathtaking scenery, NCA is a fine example of the spectacular canyon country of the Uncompahgre Plateau, ranging from 4,800 to 8,200 ft. Here you will find a variety of wildlife and native plant species.

Wildlflowers along Silvershield Trail, Ouray, Colorado

Driving is a great way to see the spectacular beauty of our area. Even along roadsides you’ll see wildflowers. But sometimes, you have to get out of the car and hike in to find them. The Silvershield Trail near Ouray, Colorado, ascending from an elevation of about 7,800 ft. to over 9,500 ft., abounds with a wide variety of  wildflowers, many best viewed on foot.

Common Wildflowers of the San Juan Mountains, by Mary Menz and Jim Pisarowicz.
Available from San Juan Publishing online.  Or, Pick up a copy at the San Juan Publishing office, Montrose Center for the Arts, 11 S. Park, Montrose, CO. Also available at Ouray Bookstore and Cimmaron Books in Ridgway, CO.