Robber's Roost   |  Andrew Burr

Utah Wildflowers

Stop and smell the roses, so the saying goes. That may work in the English countryside, but here in the Beehive State, it’s Utah wildflowers that deserve notice. Scene stealers — lupine, sego lilies, mountain sunflowers, columbine and paintbrush — share the stage with fragrant forests and gurgling creeks in the north, and desert breezes and red rock canyons to the south. Altogether, finding wildflowers is a rewarding, multi-sensory performance worth the hike.

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Viewing Responsibly

Do not pick wildflowers. Picking blooms and digging up roots are pushing some species to extinction (i.e. echinacea). To sustain them for future generations, apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure.

Tips for Responsible Travel

Wildflower Season

The optimal time to view Utah wildflowers depends on temperature and elevation. Wildflowers can bloom in Utah anytime between March and September. At higher-elevation meadows, peak season is June, July and August. 

Utah Weather

Native Utah Wildflowers

Utah's state flower, the sego lily.

Utah's State Flower

If you attended grade school in Utah, you know that the sego lily is the state’s flower. For out-of-towners, here’s a quick lesson: Western Native Americans taught Mormon pioneers to use the sego lily bulb as a food source in the mid-1800s after an infestation of crickets (later called “Mormon crickets”) destroyed their crops. Voila! The sego lily becomes the state flower in 1911. Sego lily season occurs in May, June and July in open sagebrush foothills and valleys and open ponderosa pine stands. Sego lilies are drought-tolerant and thrive in dry, sandy soil. 

Latin Name: Calochortus nuttallii
Elevation: 4,500 to 8,000 feet
Flowering Season: May, June, July
Colors: White, lilac, or yellow flowers

Wildflower Trails

Where exactly can one frolic in Utah wildflowers? A flower-spotter should be prepared to do a little work (perhaps even sweat a little) to enjoy the most scenic wildflower shows. No matter the distance, elevation or degree of difficulty, Utah wildflower trails are best enjoyed by hikers who are well-hydrated, well-nourished, layered in sunscreen and supported by sturdy trail shoes. 

  • Mount Timpanogos

    Rocky Mountain goats aren’t the only things Mother Nature flaunts along the Mount Timpanogos Trail. The trail also touts showy displays of elephant’s head lousewort, penstemon, columbine, mountain bluebell, yarrow, larkspur, paintbrush, skyrockets, bistorts and Jacob’s ladder. But hiker beware, as this trail isn’t for the casual nature walker. From either of its two trailheads, this out-and-back climb is 15 miles of heavily-trafficked trail and is rated difficult. Hikers will pass Emerald Lake at 10,380 feet and summit at 11,749 feet.

Hiking Snowbird Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Photo: Jay Dash

Indian paintbrush along the trail.

Photo: Jay Dash


Sunny Skies, Epic Wildflowers and Hoodoos: Summertime in Cedar Breaks National Monument

3 minute read

A summertime trip to Cedar Breaks National Monument is candy for the eyes. A panache of color explodes here during the first weeks of July when the 260 species of wildflowers are in full bloom.

Hiking, Guided Experiences, Southwestern, Stargazing, Festivals and Events

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Flower Festivals & Gardens

Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point

In April, Thanksgiving Point in Lehi hosts one of Utah’s most popular events: the annual Tulip Festival. More than 100,000 guests take in the sensational display created with bulbs imported directly from Holland. 

Blooms to see: nearly 300,000 tulips.

Wildflower Festival in Cedar Breaks

Just outside Cedar City, the Cedar Breaks National Monument comes alive with wildflower color in July during the Wildflower Festival in Cedar Breaks. Over 250 wildflower species paint the canvas of colorful cliffs of the Markagunt Plateau.

Blooms to see: columbine, aspen bluebells, milkweed, Indian paintbrush, sunflowers, primrose, aster, flax, fireweed, pretty shooting star, marsh marigolds, lupine and larkspur.

Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City

Red Butte Garden sits on 100 acres in the Salt Lake City foothills. As the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West, the community-funded garden contains over 21 acres of developed gardens, including the herb garden, rose garden and a tropical-plant filled Orangerie.

Blooms to see: 524,000 bulbs, herb garden, rose garden, a tropical-plant-filled Orangerie, fragrance garden, water pavilion garden, wildflower meadow and water conservation garden.

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