Wildflowers by Car
Often, the best views of wildflowers are not accessible by vehicle, but that is not the case in Crested Butte. As the Wildflower Capital of Colorado, Crested Butte offers stunning views and access to the wildflowers from nearly everywhere, including some locations right off of the road.
Below are a few of our favorite locations to find the best wildflowers from the comfort of your car.
Washington Gulch Road
Winding through fields and pastures, next to mountain streams and in the shadow of some iconic peaks, Washington Gulch Road would be a beautiful drive even without the wildflowers. Large patches of color fill the hillsides as you drive up the gulch, creating some amazing photography opportunities with ample opportunities to safely pull off the road and stretch the legs.
Washington Gulch Road begins paved before crossing a cattle guard and turning to dirt and eventually leading into the Gunnison National Forest. Most of the road is easily passable in regular vehicles, but the road picks up steeply in grade as you head further out in the National Forest. Past the trailhead for Trail #403, the road becomes much rougher, so higher clearance is required.
Brush Creek Road
Continuing past the Skyland neighborhood and Crested Butte Country Club is Brush Creek Road, a well maintained dirt road that leads into some beautiful ranch land. This southerly exposed valley receives great sunlight, which leads to some amazing wildflowers.
From the car, enjoy majestic views of Teocalli Mountain as it towers over the valley floor’s colorful array of flowers. A number of trails split off of Brush Creek Road providing easy access for mellow hikes and close encounters with nature.
Further down, the road splits and quickly becomes passable only for 4x4 vehicles with creek crossings and rocks. It is recommended that most vehicles turn around at the first split.
North of Crested Butte and Crested Butte Mountain Resort is the East River Valley and the town site of Gothic, CO, home of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. As a world-renowned research facility for mountain flora and fauna, it is no wonder that the East River Valley offers some incredible views of wildflowers.
A well-maintained dirt road the whole way, Gothic Road cuts through aspen groves and fields of wildflowers until meeting up with the headwaters of the East River at the valley floor. As you head toward Gothic, don’t forget to look behind you at the snaking East River and majestic Mt. Crested Butte.
Please remember that these roads are very popular and often have cyclists enjoying them as well. Share the road and please park in only designated parking spots to help preserve our gorgeous landscape!