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Wildflowers and Bears

After a family gathering in Nederland, Katie and I stopped at NCAR to look for wildflowers. We've seen a lot of photos of the Chautauqua area with the fields filled with wildflowers. To try and get away from the crowds and to avoid having to pay for parking, we went to NCAR to hike part of the Mallory Cave trail. The area at first glance didn't have a ton of wildflowers, but enough to keep us happy. As soon as we made it up and over the ridge where the water tank is we were surrounded by tons of wildflowers.

We were concerned about the heat since it was about 80 degrees in Boulder. But there was a breeze and a completely overcast sky which made the hike tolerable and not too hot. The overcast skies made for better lighting photographing the flowers anyway, so it turned out to be a really nice day for a hike.

We turned around after a mile to make it a 2-mile hike. On the way back, I looked up to see a bear running across a field about 300 feet in front of us. I've never seen a bear in the wild before, and with how busy of an area Boulder is I didn't figure that I would have seen on here, let alone in the middle of the day. The bear was running away from us, so we weren't concerned, but it was a spectacular sighting.

Trailhead Location
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2.05 mi 1.3 hrs 6,283 ft 466 ft
View Graph
South of the Flatirons
Sidebells Penstemon
Young Lupine
Mouse Ears
More Penstemon
Flatirons and Flowers
Tent Catipillars