Buses depart at 7:30 a.m., board in front of Marriott on California Street.
At 8,200 feet in the Rocky Mountains, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is the highest botanical garden in North America. In this exquisite small garden, stone pathways meander through colorful perennial borders with ponds and spectacular waterfalls. With alpines in peak bloom in June, this is a display not to be missed.
An Herb Schaal-designed Children’s Garden depicts a miniature hike to the summit of the Gore Mountain Range, with a wetland, stepping stone crossing and a limestone gorge. The Mountain Perennial Garden displays the vast array of perennials that thrive at high elevation with the intense ultra violet light making the colors of the delphinium, monkshood and lilies glow. A Meditation Garden offers a more tranquil garden, Rocky Mountain style with broadleaf evergreens and dwarf conifers surrounding a tranquil pool and floating rock. A stream lined with candelabra primroses leads to the impressive Alpine Rock Garden. This mostly native garden bisected by a tumbling waterfall, features huge rock walls, with ADA pathways and natural stone steps weaving through the rocks. Home of the NAPCC collection of Colorado’s alpine flora, this is a unique display of alpine flora.
Garden staff and volunteers will greet visitors with light refreshments and be available to answer questions. The Garden’s gift shop in the original Vail schoolhouse will be open during the visit.
After a morning in the Gardens and a short walk to Vail Village, attendees will ride a Gondola to a restaurant on Vail Mountain for lunch, with panoramic vistas. Enjoy mountain top views and wildflower trails before riding the Gondola back down to Vail. Time permitting, visit Betty Ford Alpine Gardens non-profit Village Gift Shop, and many other shops and galleries, before heading back to Denver.