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How to Enjoy Colorado’s Wildflower Scenery with Cannabis

The sun is out, the birds are singing, and Colorado wildflowers are blooming left and right. Fields of multi-colored, fragrant foliage are there to behold, and many of the best places to see Colorado’s wildflowers are just a short drive (and moderate h…

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The sun is out, the birds are singing, and Colorado wildflowers are blooming left and right. Fields of multi-colored, fragrant foliage are there to behold, and many of the best places to see Colorado’s wildflowers are just a short drive (and moderate hike) away. Best of all, thanks to Colorado’s legal cannabis market, you can get a little high first and appreciate them even more! 

Why You Should Definitely Get Out After Smoking

Many people consume cannabis because it makes it easier to relax at the end of a busy day. Though weed can be a great way to slow a busy brain, it can also be a catalyst for an amazing adventure, too. That’s because cannabis enhances sensations in the body like sight, scent, and sound. Therefore, the best way to optimize a high is to choose activities that tickle all the senses. Nature hikes are especially appealing this time of the year and can turn up some pretty awesome photo ops, to boot.

Where to Find Blooming Colorado Scenery

We could spend all day boasting about Colorado’s beautiful scenery, but the only way to truly appreciate wildflower season in Colorado is to get out and see it for yourself. Though you’ll likely find beauty just about anywhere you look, we believe some of the best wildflower hikes in Colorado begin at the following trailheads. 

Coloradan Wildflowers

Just about anywhere you look fields of multi-colored wildflowers are blooming left and right in Colorado. photo credit

Crested Butte, Trail 403: Crested Butte is Colorado’s Wildflower Capital, and the 4-mile hike that connects Washington Gulch to Gothic will prove it. Trail 403 is a moderate hike that features hillsides abloom with a variety of wildflowers between the months of March and October, with peak season in mid-July (which coincides nicely with the area’s annual wildflower festival). The steady climb from Gothic to Washington Gulch can be challenging for some, however, so pack plenty of water and try to go easy on the bong hits pre-hike, too.

Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Three Island Lake: The Mount Zirkel Wilderness area was one of the first areas to gain protection under the Wilderness act of 1964. As such, the area is teaming with beautiful foliage, regional wildlife, and clear waters which help it all flourish. 

Three Island Lake Trail

Three Island Lake flourishes with beautiful foliage, regional wildlife, and clear waters. photo credit

The 7-mile round-trip hike along Three Island Lake is one of the most trafficked hikes in the area, though crowds can generally be avoided when hiking mid-week. Once you reach the lake at the end of your hike, relax and enjoy a bowl to celebrate your accomplishment (though remember to keep it under wraps – the area is under Federal jurisdiction which means cannabis consumption is technically illegal there). 

Ice Lake/Island Lake Hike: For those looking for a challenge, this 8.1 mile round-trip hike will make you proud of your endurance and sure-footedness. The Ice Lake/Island Lake hike features everything a seasoned hiker could want – gorgeous views, physical challenges, jaw-dropping cliffs, crisp air atop running water, and even a little history courtesy of a few old mining operations – all while increasing about 3,000 feet in elevation. The steep incline can be a challenge but is totally worth it to see beautiful Island Lake before circling back around again. No parking pass is required, and pets are allowed if they are kept on a leash.

Cub Lake Trail Loop: This easy, 6-mile loop perfectly showcases the beauty of Colorado scenery. With only a moderate incline to reach the lake, Cub Lake Trail is the perfect hike for people of all ages and experience levels. Wildlife sightings are common along the trail as are more than 80 varieties of wildflowers native to the region. Though the typical hiking season runs from March through October, the best time to see the flowers is between late May and early July.

Best Strains to Take in the Sights

If you’re going to get high before hiking, it’s important to put the right strain in your brain. The last thing you need, after all, is to smoke bowl of some killer indica then forget to leave your couch! But choosing the best strain for a hike means more than finding the most potent sativa, too (lest you get too paranoid along your journey). No, the best strains for hiking should fall somewhere in the middle, favoring uplifting sativa qualities while drawing out the creative tendencies of certain high terpene strains. As such, we recommend strains like Durban Poison, Super Lemon Haze, and Sour Diesel


Do you have a favorite place to find Colorado wildflowers? Share your go-to spots in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Walker Hall (license)

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Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s loss to be a gain for cannabis tourism in Toronto?

The doors of Amsterdam’s cannabis coffee shops have long been open to Canadians and other tourists. But that may change. Under Halsema’s proposal — supported by police and prosecutors — only Dutch residents would be allowed to enter the shops in an att…

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The doors of Amsterdam’s cannabis coffee shops have long been open to Canadians and other tourists. But that may change. Under Halsema’s proposal — supported by police and prosecutors — only Dutch residents would be allowed to enter the shops in an attempt to tackle problems associated with hard drugs, organized crime linked to the marijuana trade, and the city being overrun by tourists on the weekends. – Read the entire article at Toronto Sun.

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Travel

Will 420-Friendly Lodging be Popular Post-COVID?

It’s a New Year, but the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. In fact, turning the calendar page onto 2021 only greeted us with news of an even more transmissible variant of the virus, a piece of disheartening news as states in the U.S. and countries ar…

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It’s a New Year, but the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. In fact, turning the calendar page onto 2021 only greeted us with news of an even more transmissible variant of the virus, a piece of disheartening news as states in the U.S. and countries around the world recommence widespread shutdowns and many hospital ICU’s are bursting beyond capacity. The hotel industry – from mega-chains like Marriott to the local 420 friendly bed and breakfast – has incurred a lot of financial damage from COVID because of travel restrictions and general consumer fear of traveling while the pandemic plays out. While it’s certain COVID has negatively impacted cannabis tourism, one question remains to be seen. Will canna-tourism and the demand for 420 friendly lodging be strong once it becomes safe to travel?

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COVID-19 and the Hotel Industry

While it’s harder to quantify the losses of a boutique hotel, or bed and breakfast, one need only look as far as the required financial disclosures of some large hotel chains. Booking at Hilton hotel chains, as an example, dropped more than 81 percent in 2020 and put the company in the red to the tune of $430 million dollars. 

There may be a silver lining. When news broke in December that the FDA had approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, hotel booking platforms like Kayak and Priceline as well hotel chains like Marriott, Best Western and Hyatt, saw their largest daily booking bumps since COVID began its furious spread through the country last March.

It’s even harder to understand how the average 420 friendly lodging accommodation has suffered during the pandemic. But given the recent great news on the vaccine and subsequent hotel booking upturn, it’s safe to assume that 420 friendly lodging will see similar popularity post-COVID.

The Return of Cannabis Tourism and 420 Friendly Lodging?

Weed-friendly lodging not only brings tourists to specific destinations like Denver or Las Vegas, but contributes to local economies like restaurants, museums, shopping centers, and sports and entertainment venues. Getting tourism back to its pre-COVID state is an important part of a thriving economy overall. However, what is unique to tourists interested in cannabis is that they tend to pick destinations specifically because the state has legal weed.

Someone paying with a credit card

Compared to other tourists, cannabis tourists spend more money on average during their trip. photo credit

Another interesting tidbit about cannabis tourists is that they tend to spend more money during their travels. Looking at Colorado as an example, tourists who cited cannabis as their primary reason for visiting the Centennial State spent more money during their visit, around $2,030 on average, than their non-consuming counterparts who spent around $1,869.  While a difference of $161 dollars may not seem like a lot, over time (and with enough people) that can add up to a lot of cash. 

Bud and breakfasts and other cannabis-friendly lodgings do not comprise a large percentage of overall tourism on the whole, though they may play a larger role in well-established tourist markets like Colorado, or cities whose economies are driven by visitors like Las Vegas. However, that doesn’t mean that 420-friendly lodging won’t be vital to the revitalization of local economies post-COVID. For example, they are better positioned to connect their lodgers to a uniquely local experience by directing visitors to local dispensaries and their unique offerings.

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The Future of 420 Friendly Lodging

Even though access to legal cannabis is more widespread than ever, there are still some touristy areas like the Berkshires in Massachusetts that haven’t had an opportunity to grow a cannabis tourism industry and affiliated 420 friendly lodging due to the lingering effects of cannabis prohibition.  

Will 420-friendly lodging be popular post-COVID? It seems that people, in general, are champing at the bit and are ready to go somewhere – anywhere – other than where they have been sheltering for more than nine months. And judging by the hotel booking spike on news of the vaccine, the answer seems to point to a resounding yes, though perhaps not as soon as we’d all like.


In the meanwhile, get to dreaming (and planning!) about your 420 vacation by checking out our collection of 420-friendly travel guides that cover many legal states across the country. 

Photo Credit: Private room in house hosted by Leah & David (license)

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Article

Will Cannabis Tourism Lead The Way To Economic Recovery?

The events of recent months – which, at no risk of ambiguity, will not be discussed here – have created something of a roadblock for nearly every industry that was, just twelve months ago, thriving in the global marketplace. Not least among those indus…

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The events of recent months – which, at no risk of ambiguity, will not be discussed here – have created something of a roadblock for nearly every industry that was, just twelve months ago, thriving in the global marketplace. Not least among those industries is the world of travel and tourism which, on both a local, national and international level, has ground to a halt for nigh-on twelve months. There are plenty of ideas swirling…

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