Spring in Western Colorado

Activities in the state where warm weather abounds

Spring can be a fickle season in Colorado. Blue sky, 75 degree days can be followed by snowstorms that bring wet, slushy snow to the mountains and the Denver area. However, there are a few places where the blossoms open early and warmth permeates the evenings. The key is to go west.


See, Smell & Touch Lavender in Palisade, Colorado

Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

Located just 30 minutes from Powderhorn Ski Area, the Palisade area grows millions of grapes, but they also grow lavender. In fact, Colorado’s most beautiful lavender fields can be found here.

On the face of the mesa, above the town, you’ll find Sage Creations Organic Farm. They have a field of u-pick lavender, a farm store, a flower garden and more. This high desert, mountain farm is a must-stop whenever I am in the area.

For centuries, lavender has been used by people for its therapeutic qualities, its beauty and smell. It is also used in food processing and I find that it is a wonderful addition to pork, but there are many other culinary uses.

Photo by Ryan Schlaefer

The Lavender Festival in Palisade is the place to discover many of the uses of lavender as well as how to grow it. Palisade’s Memorial Park blossoms into purple on June 28 through June 30. Participants can sign up for lavender farm tours throughout the festival. This is a free event that features art and artisans, music, workshops and seminars. If you love lavender, don’t miss it.

Denver Botanic Garden holds a Lavender Festival as well. This event occurs on July 20 at the Littleton garden location.

Drink Wine & Ride a Train in Durango, Colorado

I used to attend a conference in Durango each April and every time I visited the flowering trees in the area were in full regalia. The town is bathed in sunshine in April and all the patios are open. Biking the Animas Trail along the river is a favorite springtime activity of ours as is enjoying hamburgers al fresco at James Ranch.

On May 2-4, the Durango Wine Experience takes place and this is the perfect chance to experience this southwest Colorado town in the springtime. There are educational seminars, artisan spirits and beer, and a Grand Tasting. The wine events take place at various restaurants around town giving you the opportunity to partake in the gourmet offerings of this city, which is one of my favorite dining destinations in Colorado.

Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

In addition to biking, hiking, and eating, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad starts its route to Silverton on May 4. Until then, get a ticket to the Cascade Canyons. This excursion covers 45 miles of rail laid in 1882. With beautiful views of the Animas River, I’ve been on the Cascade Canyons excursion and the scenery is gorgeous.

Categories: The Heidi Guide