Yesterday’s weather forecast for the entire Front Range looked kind of iffy, but my mom and I headed out on Hwy. 285 to the mountains anyway because I had never taken her that way before, plus we just needed to get OUT (after having cancelled an excursion/hike the day before due to the threat of all-day rain). We made the mandatory stop at the Coney Island Hot Dog Stand just west of Bailey and the weather held steady with partly cloudy skies while we enjoyed our lunch at a picnic table overlooking the rushing water of the North Fork of the South Platte River.

My goal for the afternoon was Kenosha Pass – specifically the trail to the east of the highway where I knew from experience that beautiful wildflowers could be found with very little effort (and within scurrying distance of the car in case the afternoon showers decided to make an appearance). I was completely surprised and delighted to find the most abundant display of columbines that I’ve ever personally seen in Colorado.

We found our first group of columbines probably within 100 feet of the trailhead and I think we must have spent a good 20 minutes in the immediate area taking photo after photo after photo. When we finally moved on down the trail, we found that the columbines just kept getting more and more abundant.

Fortunately, we never did hit any inclement weather until late afternoon when we were on our way back down to the Denver area after making a grand loop through South Park and over Hoosier and Loveland Passes. The moral of this story is that you shouldn’t necessarily ALWAYS heed the weather forecast.

If you’re in Colorado, I really must insist that you visit Kenosha Pass to see the columbines ASAP. If you’re not in Colorado, get here as soon as you can!

To see more columbine photos as well as photos of the other wildflowers and scenery at Kenosha Pass (plus a token shot taken from the summit of Loveland Pass), click HERE.

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