Mid-summer brings a wild splash of color to Utah’s high country! Wildflowers, taking advantage of the short growing season at high altitude, try pack a whole year’s worth of color into a few short months during July and August. Depending on the location, some of the best wildflower displays in Utah will peak in the next few weeks. So if you’re into mountain beauty, and want to see our state’s high country its best, make a trip up into the hills and check out the displays. Here’s an informal list of some of the best spots to experience Utah’s wildflowers.
Little Cottonwood Canyon / Albion Basin
The summer road into Albion Basin above the town of Alta offers one of the best conglomerations of wildflowers in the state. Alta just had it’s annual Summer Wildflower Festival this past weekend (July 17-18th), so the color is at its peak! There’s no better time than now to make the short drive up the canyon and check it out. According to the Alta Visitor’s Bureau, there are over 300 different varieties of wildflowers in the basin. For more information, call (800) ALTA 840.
If you prefer your wildflowers in solitude, consider exploring the vast, colorful high country of the Wasatch Plateau. With few paved roads and large expanses of rolling alpine terrain, the Wasatch Plateau offers flower seekers a much different experience the busy trails found in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons.
Mt. Timpanogos, with it’s open alpine basins and sweeping meadows offers the color of wildflowers in a dramatic mountain setting. For those who are willing to hike up to the peak’s upper ridges, the spreading blankets of blooms are well worth the effort. The combination of wildflowers in the foreground and views off the surrounding peaks as a backdrop will have any landscape photographer drooling. Look for Mountain columbine, and Pale yellow Indian Paintbrush mixed in with the classics like lupine and larkspur.
Cedar Breaks National Monument
Cedar Breaks National Monument combines red rock beauty on par with Bryce Canyon National Park and one of the best wildflower displays in the southern half of Utah. The Cedar Breaks Wildflower Festival wrapped up yesterday (July 2-18th), but that doesn’t mean the flowers are gone. I’ve seen splashes of color lasting into late August in the cool meadows of the park. Here’s a list of the species you’ll find decorating Cedar Breaks.