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July 25, 2012

Wildflowers and Wildlife and Walks, Oh My!

Albion Basin, Alta, Utah

Chances are, if you live here in Northern Utah, you're a fan of mountains, hiking, and wildflowers, and with the Wasatch Wildflower Festival, held annually at the end of July at Brighton, Solitude, Alta, and Snowbird, you get to combine all three. This year, the festival is this weekend! It runs from July 27-29. Guided walks (for beginner, intermediate, or advanced hikers) are held over the festival's three days, and Alta will be hosting live acoustic music and a chalk art contest on the 28th. Visit WasatchWildflowerFestival.org for a complete list of activities.

Alta's Albion Basin is home to 120 plant species, including vivid, beautiful wildflowers like mountain bluebells, paintbrush, yarrow, monkshood, heartleaf arnica, Colorado columbine, and silvery lupine, among many others, and there's a great chance you'll see dozens of them blanketing the mountainsides, tucked under the pines, lining the creeks, and hugging the trails.

Paintbrush, Albion Basin, Alta, Utah

While meandering the trails, keep a lookout for yellow-bellied marmot, pika, chickaree, golden-mantled ground squirrel, moose, mountain goats and mule deer. (I can proudly say that I've seen each and every one of those mammals in Albion Basin!) In the sky or hopping from branch to branch, you might see birds like the gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Red Crossbill, Clark’s nutcracker, and numerous hummingbirds.
Bull moose, Albion Basin, Alta, Utah

Whether you're going for the plentiful wildflowers, the exciting wildlife, the enjoyable hiking, or just to simply get outside and relax with friends or family, the Wasatch Wildflower Festival is a perfect getaway. It only happens once a year, so what are you waiting for? Head up either of the canyons for cooler temperatures and beautiful scenery, and many opportunities to learn about nature only 15 miles from downtown Salt Lake City.


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