.All Trips / Central USA / Colorado / North America

A Stroll through the Betty Ford Alpine Garden, Vail, Colorado

001 Betty Ford Alpine Garden 09-2014

The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is the world’s highest botanical garden, situated at the foot of Vail Mountain in the Colorado Rockies, in gorgeous Vail Valley.  The Garden rests at an altitude of 8,200 feet (2,500 m) and is named in honor of former First Lady Betty, the wife of President Gerald Ford.  The Fords had a home in Vail as the President was an avid skier, and both were very active in the Vail community.  Ford Park consists of this alpine garden, a fairly large amphitheater complex, a children’s play area and a large grass field for soccer and such.  As you’d expect, these attractions are very popular in the warm Rocky Mountain summers.

While it’s currently likely under a blanket of …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Banff National Park: The Subalpine Splendor of Sunshine Meadows


Those of us who enjoy hiking and backpacking grow impatient by early summer as we gaze to the mountaintops and their passes and wait for the snow up there to finally melt.  We busy ourselves with low altitude hikes and camping and such, but as much fun as these can be we know the best scenery and the greatest hiking awaits in those higher altitudes.  And when subalpine meadows emerge from their snowy blanket its time at last to start exploring!

In the Canadian Rockies the subalpine meadows are usually covered in snow until around the end of June or early July — and snow begins reaccumulating in early October, so the window of opportunity is narrow.  But during those few months there’s a short but intense growing season with lush meadows and a large number and diversity …

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