jams are rare in Utah, instead, celebrate the jam of flowers that pop
each mid-summer. Or should we say late summer this year? 65 feet of
snow fell in Utah this winter, surprisingly, all this snow makes for a
unique and more dramatic wildflower show. Maura Olivos, Alta Ski Area’s
Environmental Center Sustainability Coordinator confirmed that a big
winter and wet spring makes for a shorter wildflower bloom season, yet
hikers are rewarded as flowers can actually show off brighter colors
than normal. While photographers can hope to capture these vivid
pedals, expect over 200 different blooms at once. This is a phenomenon
that doesn’t exist most summers because this year's shorter growing
season promises to collide, early and late summer blooms.
off the blooms, Big and Little Cottonwood canyon celebrate the arrival
of summer’s flowers this weekend with the Wasatch Wildflower Festival held July 29 - 31. If you miss the festival, no worries, as there is
still plenty of time to catch the color. Joni Dykstra, Alta Lodge’s
marketing director assures that “People are in for a treat this year
because flowers should be out the entire month of August.” Olivos
pointed out that the next couple of weeks will burst different varieties
of the ever popular Indian Paintbrush and Penstemon.
Mountain Bluebell Indian Paintbrush Monument Green Gentian
Take away a few tips for packing in the most wildflowers on your summer hike:
- Stay at elevations around 8500 feet or lower to view flowers in early August.
- The second week to mid August will produce wildflowers above 8500 feet.
- Small children and grandparents will enjoy a low angle walk around Alta’s transfer tow.
- Enthusiastic hikers should head to Catherine’s Pass and Twin Lakes Pass
between Alta and Brighton. Amazing views and bountiful colors await.
- Look for Lewis’ Monkeyflower near streams.
- Grab Saturday lunch or Sunday brunch at the [service path=alta_lodge/lodging]Alta Lodge[/service].
- Take time to smell the flowers, life moves slower in the mountains.
stay on trails and roads and do not pick the flowers. While it is
tempting to take a bouquet of flowers home, only take pictures, as the
flowers need to seed to reproduce for years to come.