Steamboat Springs and the Northern Colorado Rockies

Thu, 2018-12-06 11:58 -- gsparrow
6 Dec
Mike Kintgen
 Steppe flora in Middle Park

Historic steamboat springs, Colorado, is located about 170 miles northwest of Denver in a botanical paradise. Elevations in the region range from 6,000 feet to over 12,000 feet, taking in almost the full spectrum of life zones found in Colorado. The only one missing is short grass prairie, which in this part of the state is replaced by sagebrush steppe. In the summer it is possible to start in sagebrush steppe and hike your way up through all the life zones to the alpine in one day. It is not surprising that with so much diversity in landscapes and habitats a wide range of vascular plants call northwest Colorado home. Long known to botanists for an array of flora disjunct from the Pacific Northwest in the cool and moist Park Range to several possible endemics of middle elevations, and a rich steppe and meadow flora encompassing both wide-ranging species and regional endemics, few areas of Colorado can show off such floral diversity.

 

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