Betty Ford Alpine GardensThere are many beautiful flowers and plants found in Colorado.

Getting to see them all can take a lot of hiking. The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is a great place to see most of them, including some on the endangered species list! The Betty For Alpine Gardens works with the Bureau of Land Managment to keep track of and study these rare plants to learn how to improve land management practices to preserve these plants. The beautifully designed outdoor gardens offer a relaxing walk past running streams and educational plaques providing descriptions of the rare plants.

The gardens have a new learning center completed in 2015 with a gift shop and a place for their educational programs. You can walk through and learn all about the plants of the Rocky Mountains. The work of the Gardens also includes protecting plant life along Shrine Pass and the Canyon Bog Orchid habitat in an area on the Eagle River. They also participate in the Global Seed Conservation Challenge in which botanic gardens from around the world participate in “seed banking”.

It’s easy to spend an afternoon in the gardens, with a playground nearby the kids can play, making it a nice relaxing afternoon of entertainment, and it’s all free. The Gardens are a non-profit that relies on donations to operate. You can donate directly to them or adopt a rare plant to fund research.