Canada Hiking Outdoor Adventures

A Quick Guide To Exploring The Rocky Mountain Wildflowers

Paying a summer time visit to Canada’s Rocky Mountains is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that many people have on their bucket list. Weather you visit for the incredible mountain views, the spectacular hiking, mountain climbing, mountain biking or just to be in the mountains, it’s every outdoor enthusiasts paradise.

Visiting during the spectacular wildflower season is the best time to explore the Rockies (in my option!). After spending 2 weeks hiking all over the Rockies this summer, I’ve put together this quick guide that answers the questions of when, why, where and how to visit one of nature’s most beautiful shows. I hope this info will help you to have just as incredible of an experience as I did!

When To Visit

They say timing is everything and this couldn’t be more true when visiting the Rocky Mountains. If you head to the mountains too early in the season you’ll likely encounter snow at the higher elevations. June brings out lots of pesky mosquito’s and black flies that would drive anyone nuts. Heading out west at the end of the summer may be less crowded but you’re always at risk to encounter early snowfall.

Wildflowers along a rocky stream in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Alberta.

The best time to visit is at the beginning of August. This time of year usually brings clear, hot summer weather and sees a decline in the bug population as they peaked in June. The snow is often gone from the high alpine allowing easy access to mountain peaks for impressive views. And it’s wildflower season!

Fireweed covers the ground in this high alpine alluvial fan in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Alberta (Kananaskis country).

Short but oh so sweet, the start of August finds the flowers bursting to life. You’ll discover them blooming in the alpine meadows, clinging to the rocky shore next to a mountain stream, and reaching upwards towards the sky trying to make the most of their short summer.

Hiking through a high alpine meadow in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Alberta (Kananaskis country).

Why Visit?

The wildflowers! Seriously, I’m not much of a gardener, nor do I purchase flowers at home very often but hiking through rainbow colored meadows was nothing short of breath-taking. Even the most manly man out there as to admit that rainbow colored meadows are pretty darn beautiful!

Wildflowers litter the high alpine meadows surrounding Sol Mountain Lodge in the Monashee’s Provincial Park, BC.

Where To Find The Wildflowers

While the flowers will be blooming everywhere (especially the fireweed), the best place to find them is in high alpine meadows.

Wildflowers near Sol Mountain Lodge in Monashee’s Provincial Park, BC

To access these meadows you have a few options. Hiking being the first but if you’re short on time or not much of a hiker, then try taking a gondola to the summit of a mountain. Most ski hills in the Rockies run their gondola’s during the summer months to cater to tourists and allow easy access to the high mountains for hiking, biking, and climbing. Not only will you get experience the wildflowers but you’ll also be treated with stunning mountain views.

Hiking trail through the wildflowers at Sol Mountain Lodge.

Driving might also be an option, depending on where you are. Mount Revelstoke National Park has a beautiful drive to the summit along the Meadows In The Sky Parkway. From there, you can take a wander along some of their walking trails through the meadows or go for a day long hike if you feel up to it.

How Best To Experience The Wildflowers

As I mentioned at the start, it really doesn’t matter how you explore the mountains as long as you’re out there! But if you want to truly take your time and appreciate the wildflowers I suggest strapping on some hikers and heading for the trails. Hiking allows you to take your time and travel at a slower pace. You can easily stop at any time to snap some pictures or just to appreciate the view.

Hiking through wildflowers in Mount Revelstoke National Park.

Hiking trail in Mount Revelstoke National Park.

 

While spending any amount of time in the Rockies is truly a magical experience, hiking through meadows filled with wildflowers is on a whole new level. Mother nature sure knows how to put on a good show so don’t be late! Plan your visit for the beginning of August for the best weather, views and best chance at viewing the beautiful wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains.

 

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