Crested Butte, CO (PRWEB) May 16, 2014 -- Crested Butte not only is known for its colorful personality, the southwestern Colorado town also is highly regarded for the rainbow of hues that take over mountainsides and meadows each summer. Designated the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado” by the Colorado State Legislature in 1990, the town will host the 28th annual Crested Butte Wildflower Festival on July 7-13.
During the week, more than 200 events showcase the lush landscapes and focus on activities that include wildflowers such as hikes, walks, jeep and van tours, garden excursions, and workshops on photography, art, gardening, edibles, butterflies, birding, medicinals and botany. Not only is there an explosion of color during Wildflower Festival, there is an abundance of other events happening at the same time, including Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival, Crested Butte Music Festival, Crested Butte Plein Air Invitational and Gunnison Cattlemen’s Days.
Great wildflower viewing is available much of the summer, and Crested Butte Wildflower Festival is offering an extensive schedule of 4 x 4 tours of Paradise Divide, Saturday Wildflower Walks, Friday Adventure Hikes, and Wildflower Tours of Crested Butte Mountain Resort from June 20 – Aug. 15. The festival also can coordinate custom wildflower hikes, walks, garden tours, picnics and art workshops for individuals, families, groups and weddings.
Hikes & Walks
Daily hikes and walks for all ranges of strength, fitness and wildflower know-how are some of the most popular happenings on the festival’s schedule. Go full-day, full-strength or half-day at a more leisurely pace. Hikes range from 1 to 12 miles and are listed with a minimum age recommendation for kids.
• Hike through the Maroon Bells Wilderness to Aspen, an 11-mile trip through Colorado’s most epic wildflower meadows.
• Several private landowners are allowing the festival to lead hikes on their properties. See wildflowers in places that most people never get to see.
• Hike to the old mining town of Crystal, home of the photogenic Crystal Mill.
• Classic Crested Butte hikes will take guests to Washington Gulch, Trail 403, Three Lakes, Rustler’s Gulch, Walrod and the Caves, Copley Lake, Daisy to Democrat Basin, Snodgrass Mountain and much more.
• Hike and luncheon combinations for this year are Snodgrass and Cloud City, both followed by a meal at a beautiful mountain home and Scarp Ridge and lunch at the Movie Cabin in Irwin.
Easygoing, casual walks include wildflower viewing in the historic mining town of Gothic, wildflower identification strolls, Geology of Paradise, and Natural History for Families that works well for families with kids ages four and up.
4 x 4 & Van Tours
Participants preferring to explore while seated can Explore Paradise Divide in a 4 x 4 jeep and Explore Lake Irwin, Geobotany of the Upper Gunnison River and Meandering in the Columbines van tours.
Garden Tours, Gardening & Landscaping
Crested Butte Gardens and Historic Garden Tour, led by representatives from the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, are perfect for those who love beautiful gardens and want a little inspiration. Designing a Natural Garden and Wildflowers Fit for a Garden also are ideal for people who like to dabble in the yard.
Art & Photography
Twenty-five photography classes are on the schedule to help sharpen skills for shooting wildflowers up-close and in landscapes, with most led by local professional photographers who intimately know the best places to capture the blooms. Sunrise and evening workshops, a 4 x 4 Backcountry Photo Tour, Hike & Shoot outings, Portrait Photography in Crested Butte Landscapes, Awesome Alleyways & Wondrous Wildflowers, Bird Photography, and a Wildflower Photography Masterclass are among the many topics being offered.
Artists can choose from a rich palette of offerings including field sketching, Japanese ink painting, botanical illustration, wildflower prayer flags, journal illustration, Cocktails & Clay (majolica-style tiles) and Canvas & Cabernet. Gifts from the Gardens is an especially unique class that shows participants how to press garden flowers and herbs to make botanical candles, bookmarks and gift tags and use dried herbs to make tea blends and lip balms, oils and salves.
A new option for this year is Botanical Indulgence, a progressive tasting tour showcasing three of Crested Butte’s food and drink establishments that embrace fresh botanicals to make creative concoctions. Participants will experience unique taste sensations at Third Bowl Homemade Ice Cream, Montanya Distillers and Dogwood Cocktail Cabin and hear the stories behind the creations.
Additional opportunities to socialize are Hors d’oeuvres in the Evening Light outdoors in the beautiful Washington Gulch area and Wildflower Happy Hour, offering the chance to mingle with festival-goers and instructors and enjoy rum cocktails at Montanya Distillers.
Terrific Taps & Luscious Libations and Chef’s Pantry (demonstrates how to use the herbs from the garden or farmers’ market) are two additional options for foodies.
Birding & Butterflies
Birds and butterflies go hand-in-hand with wildflowers. Learn how to identify the area’s unique birds from their song and see stunning butterflies feasting on gorgeous wildflowers. Birding Among the Wildflowers on the Upper Loop and Woods Walk are two options offered along with Butterflies & Lunch at Double Top Ranch, located in the Cement Creek area.
Botany & Medicinals
Dig a little deeper into science with Biological Warfare in the Plant Kingdom and Colorado Native Smorgasbord or get some hands-on time at In Search of Edibles & Medicinals and Making Simple Plant Medicines.
Schedule & Registration
To see a full schedule, register for events and download a bloom locator brochure and wildflower guides, visit http://www.crestedbuttewildflowerfestival.com.
Vacation Packages & Visitor Information
To save on flights, hotel rooms, vacation packages, car rentals and more, go to http://www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com. For travel planning and general information, call (800) 814-8893, visit http://www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com and follow GCBTA event promotions on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gcbta.
Beth Buehler, Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association, http://www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com, +1 (712) 364-2953, [email protected]