SOUTHERN UTAH - While the summer sun is scorching some gardens, in the higher elevations flowers are thriving.
This weekend is the final one of the Cedar Breaks National Monument Wildflower Festival. It’s a unique time of year when all the flowers in the area bloom at the same time.
“The flowers are just spilling over the hills, the meadows, the wet areas, different areas you go throughout the park,” said monument ranger Kate Manrodt.
Rangers estimate close to 150 different varieties bloom in the three to four week time period. It happens because of the summit’s micro-ecosystem. At 10,000 feet in elevation, the growing season is short.
“This area has been set aside since 1936 and has been protected so that we don’t have the domestic critters up here gobbling up everything that we consider so pretty,” Manrodt said.
The variety depends largely on climate conditions, so the colors typically change from year to year. Monrodt said this year Elkweed is making a prominent display. Visitors said there’s always that one that stands out.
“I love the columbines,” said Tanya Lily-Reid. “Those are really pretty.”
“I like the blue ones,” said Salt Lake Resident Jaimi Allen. “It’s pretty, so when you’re driving off you see this kind of hint of purple and blue.”
The wildflower festival officially goes through this Sunday, but you’ll still be able to get out and see those colors for the next couple of weeks. Events include:
- Daily guided walks at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- An introduction to using a wildflower identification key on Saturday, July 18 at 11:30 a.m.