Natural Area Hike

Bill, the assistant curator and I went up into the Natural Area of Red Butte Garden last Friday for our first official hike of the year. It was a rather cool day as a storm was coming in, but the overcast sky allowed for some great photos. As we started up the trail we were welcomed by a friendly ground squirrel.

Ground Squirrel

The first flower we encountered was a small plant called Spring Beauty. Its small, marble-sized corms have been used by Native Americans as a source of food. It is one of the first flowers to bloom immediately after the snow melts.

Spring Beauty

Claytonia lanceolata      Spring Beauty

As we were hiking on Zeke's Trail near the back of the Natural Area we found my favorite native spring flower called Yellow Bells. Like the Spring Beauty, the bulb of Yellow Bells was also used by Native Americans for food.

Yellow Bells

Fritillaria pudica      Yellow Bells

We continued on Zeke's Trail past the Yellow Bells and decided that it was getting to cold to keep hiking so we headed down the Bennett Vista Trail. We arrived at a bench that had a view of the Salt Lake valley, so we took a rest there and growing all around the bench were Longstalk Spring Parsley and tiny Spring Draba.

Longleaf Springparsley

Cymopteris longipes      Longleaf Springparsley

Spring Draba

Draba verna      Spring Draba

If you want to catch a glimpse of these early bloomers and possibly more, visit the garden soon before they're spent. Be sure and pick up a trail map from the visitor center before heading out into the Natural Area.


Closed Thanksgiving Day and Dec 24-Jan 1

*On days when outdoor concerts are scheduled, garden hours are 9AM-5PM

Only Service Animals are allowed in the garden


Members: Free
Adults (ages 18-64): $12
Seniors (ages 65+): $10
Military w/ID: $10
Children (ages 3-17): $7
Children (under 3): Free
U of U Faculty/Staff: $10
U of U Students: Free with valid ID

Groups (12 or more) $1 off ea. person

Enjoy half-price admission December, January, and February


300 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
How to Get Here