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Friday, May 17, 2013

Wildflowers In Southern Utah

Cactus flower in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve
Wildflowers are now in full bloom in low-elevation desert ares in southern Utah.

I hiked in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve and enjoyed seeing a wide variety of flowers, including those shown in my photos here.

The Reserve encompasses much of the red rock areas you can see as you drive I-15 south toward St. George. I hiked in the Babylon area, which is southeast of the town of Leeds. We drove the Babylon Road through deep sand to Sand Cove and then wandered around the red rock fins and other formations in the area. It is a fun area, very scenic.

We hiked the Arch Trail from Sand Cove down to the Virgin River. The trail passes a photogenic little arch, as you can see from my photo.

In nearby Zion National Park, wildflowers are also coming on strong. The next few weeks will bring the peak of the flower season. The park has this page about viewing wildflowers.

The wildflower season starts later at higher elevations. Cedar Breaks National Monument, located in the tops of the mountains east of Cedar City, is one of the great places in this region to view wildflowers. There the season usually peaks in mid-July.

Cedar Breaks sponsors a Wildflower Festival that begins on July 6 and continue through July 21, 2013.

In northern Utah mountain areas the blooms peak in mid or late July. Popular viewing areas near Salt Lake can be found at the top of the Cottonwood Canyons (where some of our famous ski resorts are located). The Alpine Loop, which circles around the east side of Mt. Timpanogos, is also a famous area for flowers.

- Dave Webb


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