While panoramic views are breathtaking, I take a lot of joy in the small details: flowers, twittering birds, and the contrasting colors of rock. This explains why I’m a meanderer. Half the time, I have to remind myself to stop looking down to take in the bigger picture.
Wild flowers are most abundant along sun-drenched slopes and open meadows. Considering you’re in Utah, you’ll have lots of opportunity to enjoy their array of colors.
Asking which trails have the best wild flowers or fall colors is comparable to asking someone to pick their favorite child. Wild flowers, notably in late spring through summer, are amazing on any of the alpine mountain trails. Look for colorful and abundant asters, wild rose, cardinal flower, columbine, larkspur, bee plant, fireweed, gentian, lupine, phlox, paintbrush, and penstemon. This list doesn’t even begin to suggest the breath of flowers to be found on the mountains, let alone more arid terrain. This guide offers photographs of some of the common flowers to be found.
Come autumn, the fall colors are amazing on any mountain trail too. I particularly like the golden quaking aspens and cottonwoods and red-orange mountain maples set off by the evergreens.
For wild flowers, check out the following trails:
Catherine’s Pass (Albion Basin to Brighton)
Desolation Lake (via Big Water Trail)
Elbow Fork to Lamb’s Canyon
Lake Blanche (via Mill B South Fork)
(more links to come…)