Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail
Columbines, Colorado's state flower, grace the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. | Photo by Amy Wagliardo / flickr

Staff writer

The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens are snuggled in the Gerald R. Ford Park (named for the only president who worked as a ranger for the National Park Service, in Yellowstone Park). Because the gardens are inside the Gerald R. Ford Park, they were named for the former First Lady.

The park is the highest botanical garden in the world, at 8,200 feet.

Longtime Vail residents Marty Jones and Helen Fitch came up with the idea to demonstrate the diversity of perennials that thrive in the mountains.

In 1987, the Alpine Display Garden opened, followed by other sections: the Mountain Perennial Garden (1989), Mountain Meditation Garden (1991) and Alpine Rock Garden (1999), complete with 120-foot waterfall.

There is also a Children’s Garden and Schoolhouse Garden.

In all, there are about 2,000 plant varieties in the gardens. More than 100,000 visitors take advantage of the free experience every year.

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
530 South Frontage Road
Vail, CO 81657
(970) 476-0103