Ogden, Utah has landed on more than one top-ten list of “Best Places for Fall Colors.” The same stunning mountain vistas that provide the backdrop for autumn’s changing leaves are the canvas for abundant wildflower viewing during late Spring and early Summer, so this is a “limited time offer.” The blooms typically begin at the lower elevations in early May and work their way up as temperatures rise
OGDEN BOTANICAL GARDENS
The Ogden Botanical Gardens are beautiful throughout the year, and certainly worthy of a stroll when springtime blossoms are at their peak. Operated by Utah State University, the gardens are a crown jewel in central Ogden (1750 Monroe Blvd.) and provide abundant parking and paved pathways that are wheelchair and stroller accessible.
BONNEVILLE SHORELINE TRAIL
You’ll hear locals call this trail “the BST” and refer to various sections as “BST North,” “BST South,” or “BST connector.” This trail is accessible at the easternmost edge of the city wherever East-West roads end at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. Developed trailheads can be found at Ogden Nature Center-North (1300 N. Mountain Rd.), Rainbow Gardens (at the mouth of Ogden Canyon), the top of 22nd Street, 29th Street, 36th Street, and at the Beus Trailhead near the top of 42nd Street. A short climb from any trailhead quickly levels off as the trail traces the former shoreline of ancient Lake Bonneville and has been developed virtually the entire length of Weber County, north to south. Yellow wildflowers are abundant in early May, and even the noxious weed, Dyers Woad, is stunningly beautiful early in the year. Feel free to rip as much Dyers Woad out of the ground as possible and leave it in the trail where it can be ridden over and hiked across. Be on the lookout for rattlesnakes that will occasionally be chasing warmth on the trail in the early morning and later evening hours.
SNOWBASIN/ART NORD/MAPLES/GREEN POND
As valley temperatures inch higher, so do the wildflower blooms. A short drive to either Art Nord Trailhead or Snowbasin provides access to firework-like displays of wildflowers on hikes or mountain bike rides from either trailhead. Keep an eye out for moose in this area, and give them plenty of space.
POWDER MOUNTAIN/BRIM TRAIL
Mother Nature saves her best for last. Around the time that we start to complain about temperatures down in town, a drive to Powder Mountain provides the necessary relief…along with the greatest abundance of wildflowers of the year. Situated at an elevation around 9,000 feet, the Brim Trail offers cooler temperatures and buttery-smooth trails snaking in and out of stands of quaking aspen and pines…and seemingly endless seas of every color wildflower imaginable.