The first full week in May is National Wildflower Week. To celebrate, we’ve compiled wildflower photos from Share the Experience photographers. From fiery reds and oranges to majestic purples, these photos capture a rainbow of beautiful blossoms in forests, parks and monuments of the West. If you’re inspired to explore the nation’s many diverse and colorful blooms within these federal lands, we’ve provided links to nearby camping locations.
Happy National Wildflower Week!
Discover places to enjoy beautiful wildflowers in five western states
Raghuveer Makala, Share the Experience
Carrizo Plain National Monument is one of the best kept secrets in California. Only a few hours from Los Angeles, the Carrizo Plain offers visitors a rare chance to be alone with nature. Some visitors say you can "hear the silence." The plain is home to diverse communities of wildlife and plant species including several listed as threatened or endangered and is an area culturally important to Native Americans.
There are two tours available for advance reservation to experience the curiously beautiful national and human-made features of Carrizo Plain. Select from Painted Rock Guided or Self-Guided Tours, or the Saucito Ranch Tour, for a more in-depth experience of the area.
Share the Experience contestant Raghuveer Makala took this beautiful shot at sunset after a season of epic rainfall that helped produce this colorful field of wildflowers.
Paula Wesley, Share the Experience
Water and gravity have been the prime architects of Canyonland National Park in southern Utah, sculpting layers of rock into the rugged landscape you see today.
Canyonlands preserves the natural beauty and human history throughout its four districts, which are divided by the Green and Colorado rivers. While the districts share a primitive desert atmosphere, each retains its own character and offers different opportunities for exploration and adventure.
Visitors can reserve campsites and river and backcountry permits on Recreation.gov for some unforgettable experiences in this enchanting ecosystem.
Paula Wesley submitted this photo to the Share the Experience photo contest with beautiful flowers on full display among the sandstone rock formations.
Emily Traub, Share the Experience
The Chugach National Forest is full of special places, from the Kenai Peninsula to Prince William Sound, to the eastern shores of the Copper River Delta.
Choose from among 51 cabins, campgrounds, or day-use areas that may be reserved on Recreation.gov, providing access to stunning scenery, abundant wildlife and unforgettable experiences.
Emily Traub captured this image of Portage Lake and Glacier after a tough hike from a nearby campground on an unusually warm July day.
Robert Goitein, Share the Experience
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is located on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southwest Washington. Best known as the site of the historic 1980 volcanic eruption, the Monument offers a variety of recreation opportunities, including the chance to climb to the summit of the most active volcano in the Cascade Range.
For those who want to explore Mount St. Helens’ steep and rugged terrain on foot, climbing permits are required, and advanced reservations may be obtained April 1 – October 31 through Recreation.gov. From November 1 – March 31, permits are free and self-issued at the trailhead.
This stunning image was captured by Robert Goitein in July 2020, which he submitted to the Share the Experience photo contest.
Norman Lathrop, Share the Experience
The spectacular scenery of the San Juan National Forest located in southern Colorado ranges from high desert mesas and canyons to high alpine peaks and meadows. There are hundreds of trails on the forest, many of which are within a short drive of Durango, Dolores, Mancos, Bayfield, Silverton, and Pagosa Springs.
There are dozens of campgrounds and day-use areas available for advance reservation on the forest, along with tickets to tour the intensely interesting prehistoric sites of Chimney Rock National Monument.
These mid-summer flowers were photographed by Norman Lathrop in July 2020, in the San Juan mountains.