Wyoming | Where the Wildflowers Are

There’s so much more to the Wild Wild West than cowboys, bison and open spaces. This year, we were lucky enough to be directly in the solar eclipse’s path of totality! I didn’t get any photos of the eclipse itself, but I posted some fun shots on instagram. While I can’t count on another such experience in the near future, or maybe ever, I do know that year after year, Mother Nature shows her true colors in many other ways, right here in Jackson Hole.

Munger Mountain Arrowleaf Balsamroot
Arrowleaf Balsamroot on Munger Mountain

Maybe it was the 600+ inches of snow, or the relatively early melt, or some other factor altogether. Whatever the reason, the wildflowers this year are the best I have seen in almost two decades.  A bonus of living in the Mountain West is the ability to hike at higher altitudes as the summer progresses, providing up to three months of fabulous floral display! Arrowleaf Balsamroot shown above is one of the earliest and most prolific blooms.

Roaring Brook GTNP
Fireweed creekside near Bradley Lake

I confess to liking light loads when I hike, so my Nikon d800e stays behind. All these photos were taken with my iPhone 6S. The brooks were roaring this summer with all the snow melt.

Foggy Morning on Old Pass
Indian Paintbrush, Cow Parsnip and Balsamroot

While foggy mornings are not uncommon, especially when the temperatures dip below freezing. The colors seem to pop even more against the misty skies.

Wildflower Trail
Indian Paintbrush, Mountain Asters, Silky Phacelia, Larkspur and more!

There is nothing like a meadow full of flowers to make everything right in the world. The photos above and below were taken in different locations after a few hours of hiking and almost 2000 feet of altitude gain. Well worth the effort, no?

Coal Creek Meadow with Lupine and Sticky Geranium
Coal Creek Meadows full of Lupine, Sticky Geranium, Paintbrush and Cow Parsnip

No matter what else is going on, I make sure to hike up to Coal Creek Meadows at least once a summer. The display varies through the season but the Lupine is one of my favorites.

Coal Creek with Aspen Bluebells_-Mertensia arizonica
Coal Creek with Bluebells

The flowers below make me think of Dr. Seuss’s Thing One and Thing Two from The Cat in the Hat!

Sugarbowl_Clematis Hirsutissima_Hairy Clementis
Sugar Bowl Clementis

I am not sure if he ever saw them but they could have also inspired the Truffula Tree in The Lorax!

Fireweed on Old Pass

The downside of iPhone photography is the difficulty in choosing just a few photos from the literally thousands I have taken this summer. I hope you will come see  for yourself.  July through August is best time to for wildflowers in the Tetons, so start planning now for next year!

Teton Hiking Trails is the best online resource I have found with extensive information and maps.

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