Spring is a beautiful time to be in the Wasatch. The days get longer; the bitter cold of winter slowly fades away as the sun melts the snow off the mountains. Icy creek beds become rushing streams of whitewater and little by little you watch life return to the mountains. My favorite part of this transition happens toward the end of spring when the wildflowers come out.
There are dozens of families of Utah wildflowers, each as stunning as the next. Whether you learn how to identify each flower or simply enjoy just looking at them, there is no doubt that wildflowers are one of the most visually stunning features of the Wasatch. Along with the enjoyment of viewing the wildflowers comes the responsibility of doing so in an ethical manner. Here are a few things to keep in mind while viewing wildflowers not just in the Wasatch but anywhere you may encounter them.
–Stay on Designated Trail Paths. Avoid walking through the actual display of flowers. If there is no other option, try walking in the footsteps of previous hikers and be careful not to step on any of the flowers.
–Don’t Pick the Wildflowers. In most cases it is illegal to pick wildflowers. Also, picking the flowers reduces that year’s crop of seeds thus lessening the chance of future blooms in that location.
–Pack it in Pack it Out. Be sure to leave the area just as you found it. Many species of wildflower are extremely sensitive to changes in the environment.
–Photographing Wildflowers. Take as many photos as you wish but be sure not to damage the wildflowers with any of your equipment. Do not sit, stand, or lie on the vegetation to get your shot.
-Make Sure You are Viewing the Flowers on Public Land. Don’t let the wildflowers distract you from wandering onto private land. Be respectful of others property, you can still enjoy the wildflowers from a distance.
Sego Lily (Calochortus nuttallii)
Tread Lightly! Staff Member: Ross Gallahan