Favorite Places to
Visit/Photograph Utah Wildflowers
Actual peak wildflower periods vary slightly year by year, so the
time periods mentioned are only a guideline and are subject to
This is only a partial list and are my personal favorites.
There are many other places within the state.
1. Albion Basin - end of
Little Cottonwood Canyon at approximate 9400 South east of Salt Lake
The Cecret (not a typo) Lake trail is a favorite as is the road from
arrive early as parking is limited to the small parking area adjacent
Albion Basin campground and a larger parker lot further down the road
lift equipment. During peak wildflower viewing times a free
shuttle is also available that
leaves from the parking lot below the dirt road that goes to Albion
Weekends are packed, so if you wish to avoid the crowds visit during
the week, but
I found solitude going on some of the branch trails off the Cecret Lake
If you can be on the mountain by 7 AM or earlier there is a good chance
you will encounter moose along the Cecret Lake trail.
Peak period - late July and early August
2. Tony Grove Lake area -
inside Logan Canyon a seven mile road branch goes to the small Tony
The trail that surrounds the lake is a good start to finding
Another favorite is the White Pine Lake Trail that has some wonderful
Other trails in the area along with the road to Tony Grove Lake itself
are also nice.
There are several pull outs that are available.
Peak period - late July through early August
3. Capitol Reef National Park
- south central Utah south of I-70; nearest town is Torrey, Utah
and the park is along Route 24
Probably the best two places to find wildflowers is along the Scenic
Drive and the Capitol Gorge.
I like the Capitol Gorge, but be aware that biting insects are aplenty
in the gorge and so long pants are
suggest despite the warmer temperatures. The gorge is in shade in
the morning, so I suggest arriving after 10 AM or
thereabouts because earlier than that the gorge will often be in full
shade. Because of this I like going up and down the
Scenic Drive using the many available pull outs as safe spots to park
first thing in the morning from about 7 AM to 10-10:30 and then
heading south to the Capitol Gorge area. The gorge has limited
places to pull out so you may choose to hike the full length of the
gorge which is about 2 miles.
Other places to go are along the eastern edge along the Waterpocket
Fold. Some wildflowers can be found in the
Cathedral Valley portion of the park. A 4x4 is highly recommended
and always check with the Visitor center on road
conditions into this somewhat remote area of the park. There is a
nice driving guide for the Cathedral Valley available in the
bookstore in the vistor's center.
Peak period - late May through early June
4. Canyonlands - Needles District
- south of Moab about 60-90 minutes driving time
There are some trails in this southern portion of Canyonlands, but I
find riding along the road back and forth to be a
quick way to cover the most amount of ground and find the most amount
of wildflowers if your time is limited.
Some areas as you come into the park are nice as well. Just prior
to the park are some dirt roads that go to
various places. There is also the Dugout Ranch. Stay to
areas that have BLM signs.
Along these routes wildflowers can often be found, but be wary if the
weather is threatening as
flash floods can turn a perfectly smooth dirt road into a mosh pit in
no time at all.
For additional tips on places to find wildflowers inquire at the
Peak period - First part of May
5. Arches National Park - just
north of Moab, Utah
There are some wonderful displays just along the roads, but be careful
not to trample the
fragile cryptobiotic soil. To do this jump from rock to rock or
walk along dry washes.
Inquire at the visitors's center just past the entrace for the best
places to find wildflowers.
Peak period - End of April - First part of May
6. Big Cottonwood Canyon -
east of Salt Lake City
Above Solitude Ski Resort are several trails. Search the web for
Big Cottonwood Canyon trails.
One place I like to go is Silver Lake. There is a small lot, but
fills up quickly, so arrive early.
From here you can go around the lake for some wildflowers, but trails
like the Lake Solitude offer
better variety and numbers. The Lake Solitude Trail begins on the
far side of Silver Lake.
Lower down the canyon there are several places with some displays.
Peak period - First part of July
7. Zion National Park -
I like the Riverside Trail at the end of Zion Canyon, which begins just
past the last shuttle stop.
Another favorite area is the trail that heads east at the bottom of the
hill before the switchbacks begin prior to the Zion Tunnel.
It is easily spotted by the somewhat decorative bridge and the large
pull out area opposite of where
the trail begins. It is just beyond the Zion Canyon junction.
Peak Perod - mid July - mid August
Another place of interest is the Snowbird Ski resort in late July-early
August. There are many
trails, but be advised many are very demanding. One way to beat
the heat is to take the tram to the top
of Hidden Peak and enjoy the displays on top.
The Monte Cristo area in mid-late June or later depending upon the
snowpack is nice.
The Monte Cristo area is east of Huntsville along Route 39.
I also like the Old Snowbasin Road from route 39 to Showbasin Ski
Resort and along the way there are
some trails in the National Forest that offer several opportunities mid
May through June.
US Forest Service Suggestions for Utah Wildflowers (includes maps,
Back to Utah Wildflowers page